Gender Diversity Beyond Binaries: Geena Rocero joins LGBTQI+ advocates at the United Nations

NEW YORK —  This dialogue on “Gender Diversity Beyond Binaries” is the first-ever meeting of it’s kind at the United Nations.

Member states, UN entities and activists shared their thoughts and experiences on the current state of LGBTQ+ rights globally.

Among the panels were two prominent transgender Pinoys, poet Kay Barrett talked about everyday life for trans people — such as being able to use the bathroom of their choice.

“See there’s this story that every trans nonbinary person knows, it’s beyond guttural and it’s more than the bladder, it goes something like this, I am real…”

Transgender rights advocate Geena Rocero talked about the state of LGBTQ rights in the Philippines.

“Being trans in the Philippines is culturally visible but not politically recognized, there are still no rights for trans people to exist, as we are, we can’t change name and gender marker, there are no legal protections for discrimination.”

Rocero said it was tough to hide who she really was for 7 years just so she could live her dream as a fashion model.

For Rocero and other trans activists, the UN, as an international institution, could do more to help LGBTQI rights.

“We definitely would love to see more trans and non-conforming people in positions of power here at the UN… propose policies that mandates access to health for trans and gender diverse people.”

Rocero said there is one thing that still can be done for trans rights to move forward.

“Trans people and gender diverse people have always been here since the beginning of time — decolonizing that understanding would make us realize that that is the way forward.”

Organizers said they covered a lot of grounds in this groundbreaking talks at the UN.

But many also agree that there is still a lot of work to be done when it comes to gay rights, especially on how these rights are translated to every-day life for members of the LGBTQI+ community.

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