Photo from Instagram
On May 31, 2014—the International Day of Transgender Visibility—the model Geena Rocero came out as trans in a powerful and personal Ted Talk. Titled "Why I Must Come Out," Rocero, who was born in the Phillippines, discussed her path to self-acceptance and journey towards becoming an advocate for her community. The founder of Gender Proud, an organization dedicated to empowering transgender people in Brazil, Hong Kong, and the Phillipines, she was honored with a place on this year's Trans 100 List.
In honor of this year's celebration of transgender visibility, Rocero penned a great essay for Huffington Post—Gay Voices: 'On Coming Out as Transgender One Year Ago: The Power of Visibility.' Below is just a taste of what she had to say.
"For a long time, I was paralyzed by fear in accepting my truth. Afraid of what people might think of me, afraid of losing modeling jobs. I finally decided that I could not be paralyzed anymore. I realized that to accept vulnerability is to allow your authenticity to shine."
"Alas, visibility is not the same as equality. The first seven weeks of 2015 were horrendously violent; we've already seen seven deaths in our community. In comparison, there were 12 murders in all of 2014."
"There many more battles in front of us—Indiana's Religious Freedom Act, to start—I'm encouraged by the countless signs that the world is aware and listening. I would like to believe that conscious communities will not allow the spread of prejudice to continue."
Read the full article at Huffington Post, and watch Rocero's inspiring TedTalk below: