Filipina transgender model represents hotel giant at SF Pride celebration

By Rommel Conclara, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

June 30, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO – Thousands of people gather to Market Street every year to watch the rainbow colored floats and festive people go by celebrating gay pride.

This year, Filipina fashion model and outspoken transgender rights advocate Geena Rocero has a float of her own.

She represents the Marriott’s new LGBT-friendly ad campaign called “#LoveTravels” while promoting her own transgender campaign called “Gender Proud”.

“I’m so honored to be partnering with Marriott and me speaking about Gender Proud about these things because with my advocacy work, specifically advocating for gender recognition law that would allow transgender people and gender variant people to change name and gender marker on legal documents,” said Rocero. “This is a great component to know that a business entity a public company like Marriott is taking such a huge initiative like this. It says a lot.”

In an official statement from Marriott, it reads “Geena Rocero is a celebrated individual who lives openly and authentically, helping to embody Marriott’s #LoveTravels message. A seasoned fashion model, Rocero delivered an unforgettable TED talk recently about her journey as a transgender woman. We’re honored that she plays an integral role in Marriott’s story.”

Rocero’s Marriott ads are featured on billboards and print media across the country, as well as in an online portrait gallery.

“When I think about a young trans woman or trans man, a transgender, gender non-conforming person looking at this image of me being on billboards, being at the San Francisco Pride, being on the float, something would resonate,” said Rocero. “That ability to feel what that it is possible to be who you are to fully express who you are – there’s no price in that. I hope I get to represent that the way people have done it for me. So that’s how important it is for me to be here in San Francisco.”

Fresh from attending the first White House Global Forum on LGBT Human Rights hosted by Vice President Joe Biden, Rocero was the headlining speaker at the Trans March at Dolores Park on Friday afternoon.

“That was so historic,” said Rocero. “That’s one of the most grassroots organizations that’s been doing a lot of work specifically for the trans-gender community. So to be invited, to be the headlining speaker of that event was such an honor to do. It was an amazing crowd. There were thousands of people.”

While she advocates for transgenders everywhere, she shares a special message for her fellow kababayans.

“To all Filipino LGBTQ this is one thing I would like to share: As long as you’re living you’re truth you can’t go wrong,” said Rocero. “Keep pursuing the truth. I love you. Thank you.”

After the festivities die down, Geena’s work continues. From here she heads to Washington D.C. where she will speak on LGBTQ issues at a White House Gala. It’s part of her ongoing issue to raise awareness about the transgender community.

You can contact Rommel Conclara at rommel_conclara@abs-cbn.com for more information.

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