Thursday, 26 November 2009

Stop Transphobia sa Bahay ni Kuya!!!

Official Statement of the Society of Transsexual Women of the Philippines (STRAP) on the recent happenings inside the Pinoy Big Brother (PBB) House involving Rica Paras

Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny

She-man. Mumu. Half-half. Samson and Delilah. These are just a few of the derogatory comments heard recently from PBB Double Up Housemates Rob Stumvol, Patrick Villanueva, Hermes Bautista, Mariel Sorino, Yuri Okawa and most especially Rocky Salumbides in referring to Rica Paras. We, her sisters in STRAP, join the rest of the world’s loyal audiences who watch PBB Double Up diligently in expressing our dismay, disappointment and disbelief in this blatant show of anti-transgender prejudice or transphobia. STRAP condemns to the highest degree this senseless bigotry and calls on Big Brother to intervene and put a stop to the hate happening right under his watchful eye.

Ever since Rica entered the PBB House, she has always carried herself well. She has never been a burden to her housemates but instead has proven to be an asset to them with her leadership skills, quick thinking and positive attitude. She has helped in household chores, shared her talents selflessly, related wholeheartedly with her housemates, and always contributed to the completion of tasks in the best way she could. The whole world knows that Rica has been nothing but a consistent team player, a shoulder to cry on, a loyal friend and a loving and reliable sister to all of her housemates.

We are therefore calling on all the housemates to STOP BASHING RICA for she has done nobody any harm. STOP DISREPECTING RICA for she has only treated all of them with grace and care. STOP DISPARAGING RICA for she is simply being herself. The asinine machismo being directed at her is the same kind of misogyny that leads to violence against women. The narrow-mindedness being displayed by some of the PBB Double Up housemates is the same kind of bias that leads to abuse, insensitivity and cruelty towards others. This is totally unacceptable behavior and must be stopped at all costs.

This has to stop if we believe in the equality of all persons. This has to stop if we want to create a world where the uniqueness of all is valued. This has to stop if we want to create a better world where kindness, compassion and respect reign, a world that upholds the inherent dignity of all. STOP TRANSPHOBIA SA BAHAY NI KUYA!

*repost as you please

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Bigotry is the threat to the well-being of humanity

The Official Statement of the Society of Transsexual Women of the Philippines (STRAP) on Comelec’s non-accreditation of Ang Ladlad LGBT Party List

The greatness of every mighty organization
embodying an idea in this world
lies in the religious fanaticism and intolerance
with which, fanatically convinced of its own right,
it intolerantly imposes its will against all others
- Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf Vol. 1 Chapter 12

The Society of Transsexual Women of the Philippines (STRAP) stands with courage and in solidarity with all those organizations and individuals who have been disheartened, disappointed, and dismayed by the unfavorable decision Ang Ladlad received from the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

STRAP is among those who say: Yes! It’s a violation of the separation of Church and State; Yes! It breaches the ‘no religion test’ clause of our Constitution; Yes! It lays the case for our legal persecution; Yes! It’s a retrogressive way of thinking; Yes! It’s a violation of human rights. But above all this, STRAP says Yes! The bigotry of Comelec is a threat to the well-being of every human being.

In its 8-page decision, Comelec argued that should they allow Ang Ladlad to participate in the elections, “[the] youth would be exposed to an environment that does not conform to the teachings of [Christianity and Islam]”, implying that such exposure would cause the moral and spiritual degradation of the youth. "[They] are not condemning the LGBT," Comelec said, they just “cannot compromise the well-being of the greater number of our people, especially the youth.“ Protecting the well-being of everyone is a good intention. However, as history has shown us, the road to hell can be paved with bigotry masked as good intentions.

How many wars have been waged, people burned at stake, genocide committed, and bodies turned into bombs just to create an environment that blindly conforms to the teachings of a particular religion? How many such atrocities have happened just because of the refusal to acknowledge the humanity of those people who are simply different?

If we’re going to be honest in answering these questions, we’ll find out that our natural diversity in sexual orientation, gender identity and expression is not the threat to the well-being of humanity. The threat is bigotry.

So we further ask, Who is the real threat to the youth? An organization that seeks to promote respect for and deeper understanding of human diversity? Or those who wear bigotry as a badge of honor?

*repost as you please

Friday, 13 November 2009

2009 Transgender Day of Remembrance - Manila

This year, STRAP is partnering with the first-ever TLBG student group in the University of the Philippines (UP) system, UP Babaylan to commemorate the International Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) The TDOR is meant to honor people who were killed due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice. It began a decade ago after the death of Rita Hester who was brutally murdered in November 1998. Hester’s death resulted in the creation of the Remembering Our Dead website and a candlelight vigil in 1999. Henceforth, transgender people killed due to hatred are honored in annual TDOR activities worldwide.

We are holding TDOR week in UP and our activities are as follows:

Activity and Venue

Date and Time

TDOR Exhibit

*Opening ceremony

(AS Lobby or Palma Hall Lobby, UP Diliman)

November 24-27, 2009 (8:00AM to 5:00PM)

*November 24, Tuesday, 10:00AM

TRANSCEND: Stories and Struggles of Transpeople in the Philippines (Forum)

(UP Diliman Gender Office, 2/F Benton Hall)

November 27, Friday, 2:30PM to 5:00 PM

Candlelighting Ceremony and Reading of Stories of the Departed

(AS Lobby or Palma Hall Lobby, UP Diliman)

November 27, Friday, 6:00 PM

We hope that you can join us in all these activities. We will really appreciate it. To participate or for inquiries, contact STRAP Secretary Mae Emmanuel Hernandez at mobile (0905.352.0943) and email ( Thank you. See you there!

Friday, 6 November 2009

STRAP Girl Wins Queen of Cebu Pageant

24 October - Rain Villagonzalo won the first edition of Queen of Cebu, a new and prestigious pageant for Cebuana transpinays. Rain, who is Cebu-based, was Miss Philippines and she bested 20 other beautiful Cebuanas representing different nations of the world for the title of Queen of Cebu Universe.

As reported in The Mindanao Examiner, "It was no neck-and-neck battle of beauty and brains before the panel of judges, who unanimously singled her out to walk away with the crown, after she articulately discussed STRAP, of which she's been an active member for two summers now.

The ever eloquent pageant champ recaps, "It stands for Society of Trans-sexual Women of the Philippines. It is the only transgender rights support and advocacy group in the Philippines. It aims to provide assistance to transgender people who are victims of discrimination and prejudice, be it in the workplace or in society in general. Most of the time transgender people are not taken seriously in the workplace. The organization provides legal support as well... in order to assert every transgender's rights to equal employment opportunity. After all, Transgender rights are also Human Rights. On a personal note, I'm fortunate enough to be part of a company that respects equal employment opportunity and somehow takes into consideration Affirmative Action when hiring employees."