Starting Nov. 13, the world celebrates Transgender Awareness Week. This occasion leads up to Transgender Day of Remembrance on Nov. 20 which memorializes victims of transphobic abuse and violence, as well as raise awareness on advocacies to protect trans people.
This year has been especially difficult for trans people here and abroad. In the US, at least 22 transgender or gender non-conforming people were killed. Meanwhile, Filipino trans women have been dealing with repeated discrimination from bars to restrooms. Despite calls to pass the SOGIE Equality Bill, our government doesn’t see it as a priority.
In honor of Transgender Awareness Week, we’re listing down trans individuals who’ve gone out of their way to educate people on their experiences and also provide insight on what’s happening in their community. Whether you’re trans or not, their stories on social media are eye-opening.
Make sure to hit follow on these accounts:
“Pose” star Indya Moore is outspoken about the transphobic violence happening in the US. They use their platform to condemn these acts and also help trans people raise money to start a new life.
MJ Rodriguez was recently included in the 2019 TIME 100 Next list thanks to her role as Blanca Evangelista in “Pose” and how she openly talks about her experiences as a trans woman of color. Just like her co-star Indya Moore, Rodriguez also uses her social media platform to raise awareness on violence towards the LGBTQ+ community.
In case you haven’t read our Women’s Month feature earlier this year, Mela Habijan is an actress, vlogger, and LGBTQ+ advocate. She talks about her experiences as a trans Filipina and other topics on her web show “All Things T,” which she posts on YouTube and Facebook. She also joins conferences on LGBTQ+ rights here and abroad to show support to the community.
Many know Janlee Dungca as a PR manager for Castro Communications. But another role she’s taken on is being an advocate for LGBTQ+ rights and HIV/AIDS awareness.
Artist and “Titans” star Chella Man has shared so much about his transition and his journey to figuring out his genderqueer identity. His YouTube channel has videos related to his transition like how much his voice changed after one year of taking testosterone and undergoing top surgery. He is also candid about being deaf and how he lives his life despite his disability.
You probably know Peppermint from “RuPaul’s Drag Race” season nine and that one “Pose” S2 episode. Aside from that, she has used her platform to talk about her journey as a trans woman, as well as use her voice to call for the passage anti-discrimination laws in the US.
Filipino vlogger Gigi Esguerra caught netizens’ attention when she gave out flowers to children and even anti-LGBTQ+ protesters during Pride 2019. If you haven’t seen her YouTube videos, she talks about her transition from male to female, tips on how to be an LGBTQ+ ally, and a look at how she injects her hormones.
Over a decade ago, 16-year-old Kim Petras made headlines as one of the youngest people to undergo gender confirmation surgery. Now, she’s an internationally recognized singer with hits like “Heart to Break” and “I Don’t Want It All.” She also told Huffington Post that her ultimate goal is to bring visibility to transgender people and show the world that they can be known without bringing up their sexuality all the time. “There are still too many people who think being transgender is very freaky. And they think you can’t live a happy life and try to tell their kids not to transition because they’re afraid their life will be harder,” she said.
Did we miss someone on this list? Feel free to share it with us (and your followers) @preenph on Twitter.
Art by Tricia Guevara
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