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Model Geena Rocero Comes Out As Transgender

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The former pageant queen spoke at TED about her road to self acceptance.  

This past December model Geena Rocero revealed to her friends and manager that she was transgender. Identifying as a woman since the age of six and presenting as one since fifteen, she had preferred to stay under the radar until recent events, including the murder of 21 year-old transwoman Islan Nettles, drove her to represent the trans community publicly.

As she told New York Magazine, "I knew I had a bigger purpose. It was a disservice to my own community if I didn't do anything." Originally from the Philippines, Geena moved to the U.S. in 2005 in order to become a woman in the eyes of the law, and a few days ago, she gave a TED talk about her journey of publicly coming out. Of it, she says, "I’ve certainly had asshole boyfriends. I’ve experienced many, many rejections. I’ve come to the point where it’s not my problem — this is my journey that’s made me who I am." Geena is now launching Gender Proud, a trans advocacy group dedicated to empowerment and raising awareness of transgender issues. You can donate to their Indiegogo here.

[h/t The Cut]

Image via Ted.