By: Krystle Crossman
Geena Rocero is a transgender model. She has been all over the world and is a huge advocate for those who are transitioning their lives as well. She spoke at a TED conference and also did a TEDTalk interview where she told her inspirational story of leaving the Philippines and headed to the runways in New York.
Before she even turned 20 years old Geena knew that she was not meant to live life as a boy. She went to Thailand and got two surgeries that turned her physically into a woman. She finally felt whole. This gave her the confidence to go after her dream of being a model. She moved to New York and spent 12 years on the runway. Finally on her 30th birthday she was on a beach in Mexico, dancing with her partner when she realized that all she wanted was to be completely free of any secrets.
Geena decided that it was time to stop living a lie and let everyone know who she had really been born as. She watched others in the LGBT community coming out and inspiring others and felt that hiding in the closet about her past was not doing anyone any favors. She got her motivation by thinking about all of the people in the Philippines who stood behind her and supported her no matter who she wanted to be. She felt that she owed it to them to tell the truth. She wasn’t scared about her career ending because she knew that she had support from so many people.
She began telling her close friends that she was ready to talk about her past. Then one day she got a call from TED and was told that they wanted to put her on a stage in Vancouver to tell her story. She knew how big of a deal that was and said yes. As a result of the amazing speech that she gave, a project called Gender Proud was born. The purpose of the project was to set clearer standards for gender marking policies due to an embarrassing experience that Geena went through at a Tokyo airport before she had her ID changed to match the gender of her new body.