NEW DOCUMENTARY TACKLES TRANSGENDER ISSUES

By Troy Espera, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

February 27, 2013

New People Cinema rolled out the red carpet for moviegoers last Thursday night looking to answer the question: “What’s the T?”

Tenacity? Truth? Tickled?

For the new documentary titled “What’s the T?”, T stands for “Transgender”.

“Transferring from one gender to another,” Rakash Armani, a transgender woman featured in the film, said. “At one point I was a male. But then I transferred my gender to female.”

Writer and director Cecilio Asuncion says he really wanted to do something wonderful and powerful for the transgender community with his film.

“I always feel that within the LGBT umbrella we all have to accept one another before the community at large follows.” Asuncion said.

Melanie Nya Ampon, who was also featured in the documentary, says she’s proud to be Filipina and equally proud to be transgender.

“It’s not in the limelight as much as I think it should be,” she said. “That’s why I wanted to do the film. To show people that we’re just human beings like everyone else.”

Asuncion’s ultimate goal is to break stereotypes about the transgender community with his film. He recently won the Outstanding Filipino American of New York Award for gay advocacy and screened at the Asians on Film Festival in Los Angeles. In April he takes his “What’s the T?” to a mainstream audience as an official selection of the Soho International Film Festival in New York City.

“It feels amazing getting the word out there about the fight against transphobia,” he said. “We all have to come off as allies to do this.”

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