New documentary explores transgender people’s struggles in the Philippines

LOS ANGELES -Members and allies of the LGBT community celebrated the recent Supreme Court ruling over marriage equality at the movies, holding a premier for “Shunned”, a documentary about the lives and struggles of transgender women in the Philippines.

The movie was five years in the making.

“I really hope I could make a difference with this film and get the support of the community and everyone to please spread it. They go through so much discrimination. It’s got to stop, all these hate crimes and what they go through,” said filmmaker Janice Villarosa.

“With the 50 states being approved with same sex marriage, this is the perfect timing for this screening,” said transgender beauty queen Camille Anderson.

With marriage equality now legal in all 50 states, the LGBT community is now setting their sights on transgender rights.

“We’re very fortunate here in California that we have a law regarding discrimination” said community leader Karina Samala. “But in other states, they still don’t have laws on discrimination. They can be fired for who they are in other states.”

For Filipinos in the trans community, recent issues in the Philippines hit close to home; from the Jennifer Laude murder, to the recent banning of cross dressing at night clubs.

“Keep fighting and hopefully in the future we will be living our lives the same as everybody else,” said Maya Besena, who personally knows the transgender women who were ousted from the night clubs.

For now, these women will continue to savor the Supreme Court ruling and this film, which they believe will only help their cause.

You can contact Steve Angeles at for more information.


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