Geena Rocero: Transgender, TED Talks, and The Right To Be Who You Are

As of 2020, approximately 0.6% of all Americans identified as transgender and 11.3% of all Americans on the LGBTQ+ spectrum identified as transgender according to Gallup.

Geena Rocero

One of these Americans is Geena Rocero. A Filipino-Born model, and advocate for transgender people.

Geena Rocero was born in 1983 in Manila, Philippines where she started competing in beauty pageants at the age of 15. Her family came to America when she was 17 years old in 2000.

When Rocero was 21, she was discovered by a photographer in Manhatten and spent the next 12 years working with NEXT Model Management, where she would model for swimsuit campaigns.

Geena Rocero

On May 31, 2014, which is the International Day of Transgender Visibility, Rocero came out as transgender in a TED Talk which she titled, “Why I Must Come Out”. The talk was deeply personal, meaningful, and important to the transgender community. Rocero discussed what it means to be an advocate to her community, and for herself.

Geena Rocero

In her TED Talk, Rocero tells the crowd that suicide rates among transgendered individuals are nine times higher than among the general population, and because of this, they hold a global vigil every November 20th.
Geena’s hope, by coming out, is that one day there will no longer be a need to hold a Transgender Day of Remembrance for transgender victims of suicide every November 20th. She stands with them in support. She says, “I could no longer live my truth, for and by myself. I want to do my best to help others live their truth without shame and terror. I am here, exposed.”

To listen to the complete TED Talk visit this link.

If you or someone you know is Transgender or on the LGBTQ2+ spectrum and is in need of resources, check out the links below:

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