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Transgender women excelling in their chosen fields

by Jericho Zafra

Recently updated on March 20, 2023 02:10 pm

AFTER transgender pageant icon Lars Pacheco was hailed the winner of Miss International Queen Philippines, members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, and Asexual (LGBTQIA+) community celebrated this milestone that amplifies the role of transgender women in Philippine society, particularly the causes they are championing.

For years, the transgender community has been fighting for its place in society, where its members face violence, abuse, and intolerance. 

Some members have overcome social barriers and defied stereotypes by excelling in  hetero-dominated fields.

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Here are some of the many transgender women who are icons in their chosen fields:

Geena Rocero

Photo courtesy: Geena Rocero (via Instagram)

Geena Rocero is a Filipino-born American model and transgender advocate based in New York City.

At the age of 21, Rocero was spotted by a fashion photographer in a Lower East Side restaurant in Manhattan. She subsequently signed with NEXT Model Management. She then spent 12 years appearing in worldwide swimsuit and beauty publications, building a devoted following in the process.

Rocero also founded the advocacy group Gender Proud in 2014. It has the goal of helping underprivileged groups to fight for their own legal rights, while simultaneously uplifting transgender communities around the world. 

In addition to spearheading initiatives that elevate the transgender community narratives, Gender Proud focuses on tackling the violence and discrimination that transgender people face.

Jess Labares 

Photo courtesy: Jess Labares (via Instagram)

Jess Labares is one of the transgender women idolized by LGBTQIA+ teens. Aside from being a model, she made history when she became the first transgender woman flight attendant in one of the country’s airlines.

She also represented the country in the 2020 edition of Miss International Queen, where she was hailed Miss Photogenic.

Jamie Casino 

Photo courtesy: Jamie Casino (via Instagram)

If you’re one of those who spend at least more than half of your free time scrolling through TikTok, maybe Jamie Casino has already reached your feed.

Casino is a beauty and lifestyle model. But she is also known for her TikTok content where she advises young, transgender women about their rights. She has also grown her fanbase for her skits that are relatable to the gender minority.

Reyna Valmores 

Photo courtesy: Reyna Valmores via Instagram

Reyna Valmores is the chairperson of Bahaghari Philippines, a national organization for LGBTQIA+ individuals in the Philippines. 

Valmores is a transgender activist who has inspired many LGBTQIA+ children and advocates to fight discrimination and to boldly campaign for the rights of the LGBTQIA+ community in the workplace.

Valmores is also vocal about issues surrounding the youth, economy, and health. 

Kevin Balot 

Photo courtesy: Kevin Balot (via Instagram)

Kevin Balot rose to fame after winning the first-ever Miss International Queen crown for the Philippines way back in 2012. She is known for her “Barbie” aura in the field of pageantry, She also became the first transgender advocate for a hair care brand in the country.

She is also an icon among transgender youths for her beauty and lifestyle content.

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