MANILA, Philippines – Geena Rocero may seem like your usual fashion model – tall, slender with beautiful skin and hair.
There is no doubt about it – Geena is beautiful. But Geena has a story to tell. She recently came out as a transgender woman.
“Gender has always been considered a fact, immutable. But we know now that it’s actually more fluid, complex and mysterious,” Rocero said during her Ted Talk.
She was born in Manila where she began competing in beauty pageants at the young age of 15. She moved to the United States when she was 17 and was discovered by a fashion photographer at the age of 21 while she was at a restaurant in New York City. (WATCH: #SexTalk Hangout: Transgender 101)
Next Models, one of the most well-known agencies in the world, soon spotted her, and that was the turning point of her career.
“Because of my success, I never had the courage to share my story. Not because I thought what I am is wrong, but because of how the world treats those of us who wish to break free.”
Last year, Geena decided to come out as a transgender woman. She shared her story publicly through a TED 2014 talk, which is quickly going viral on the Internet.
She also founded Gender Proud – an advocacy and awareness campaign for transgender rights.
In her emotional talk, she relives the challenges she faced as a transgender woman and how people should not constrained by the gender they were born with. “The world makes you something that you’re not — but you know inside what you are.”
Watch Geena’s “coming out” in this video:
Geena joined Rappler’s #BalikBayan for a live interview on Wednesday, April 9, at 10 pm Manila time (10 am in New York), via Google Hangout from New York City.
She talked about her journey to becoming a fashion model and coming out to the public as a transgender woman.
Rappler’s Ryan Macasero hosted the interview. – Rappler.com