Friday, 26 November 2010

STRAP commemorates the 12th International Transgender Day of Remembrance

On 28 November 2010, Sunday, STRAP will form a circle with allies, loved ones and friends to commemorate the 12th International Transgender Day of Remembrance and memorialize all the men, women and children in the past year who died due to transphobic hatred.


Wednesday, 24 November 2010

STRAP Salutes Amazing Philippine Beauties 2010

Eight years ago, Amazing Philippine Beauties was conceived to be the leading transgender pageant in the Philippines that would attract the most beautiful and talented transgender/transsexual Filipinas (transpinays) who can then become part of an elite group of performers. Eight years later it still holds that distinction.

STRAP is honored to declare solidarity with Amazing Philippine Beauties and on its 8th year at that—truly an auspicious year! Eight years of showing the world amazingly beautiful transpinays has certainly brought not only luck to the girl who gets to wear the crown each year but also joy to their supporters, loved ones and communities.

Indeed Amazing Philippine Beauties has played an important part towards building a unified Filipino transgender community. Coronation night always brings hundreds of transgender and gender-variant people and those who love them together in the spirit of high-level pageantry. For sure on pageant night (on November 26 at the Manila Film Center CCP Complex Roxas Blvd., Pasay City) Amazing Philippine Beauties candidates will be raised up anew as the wonderful, unique, and stellar human beings that they are and give them respite from a life otherwise marked by discrimination and marginalization.

Thank you to the organizers and supporters of Amazing Philippine Beauties for giving our community a way to be reminded of our beauty and ultimately humanity. Long live Amazing Philippines! Mabuhay ang Amazing Philippine Beauties 2010!

In sisterhood,

The Society of Transsexual Women of the Philippines

Sunday, 21 November 2010

STRAP's Declaration in Support of the STP 2012 Campaign

Change poster

On 13 November 2010, Saturday, the members of STRAP, in support of the Stop Trans Pathologization 2012 campaign, sat down with members of the Psychological Association of the Philippines (PAP) to have a discussion on the issues that trans Filipinos face and the call to delist Gender Identity Disorder (GID) from the DSM IV and transsexualism from the ICD 10 (see pic above). Below is STRAP's statement written by Co-founder Ms Sass Rogando Sasot and edited by Chairwoman Ms Naomi Fontanos declaring full support for STP 2012.

STRAP’s Declaration in Support of the Stop Trans Pathologization 2012 Campaign

Recognizing that transsexualism is classified as a mental disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV (DSM IV) of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) of the World Health Organization (WHO);

Considering that gender is a binary classification system imposed on human beings since their birth;

Bearing in mind that the gender identities and expressions that strictly fit into the traditional norms of being either male or female are the only socially allowed gender identities and expressions;

Highlighting that this gender binary classification system has led to the discrimination, violence, and marginalization against human beings who do not conform to its standards;

Upholding the definition of gender identity in the Yogyakarta Principles, as each person’s deeply felt internal and individual experience of gender, which may or may not correspond with the sex assigned at birth, including the personal sense of the body (which may involve, if freely chosen, modification of bodily appearance or function by medical, surgical or other means) and other expressions of gender, including dress, speech and mannerisms”;

Affirming the Yogyakarta Principles on the application of international human rights law in relation to sexual orientation and gender identity, especially Principle 1 – The Right to the Universal Enjoyment of Human Rights, which calls on states to “undertake programmes of education and awareness to promote and enhance the full enjoyment of all human rights by all persons, irrespective of sexual orientation and gender identity”; and Principle 2 – The Rights to Equality and Non Discrimination, which calls on States to “take all appropriate action, including programmes of education and training, with a view to achieving the elimination of prejudicial or discriminatory attitudes or behaviours which are related to the idea of the inferiority or the superiority of any sexual orientation or gender identity or gender expression”;

Endorsing the 26th of May 2010 statement of the Board of Directors of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) that calls for the de-psychopathologisation of gender variance worldwide and which affirms that “the expression of gender characteristics, including identities, that are not stereotypically associated with one's assigned sex at birth is a common and culturally-diverse human phenomenon which should not be judged as inherently pathological or negative”;

Recalling the societal vision of our organization of a nurturing society that affirms, respects, and upholds the dignity, the right to self-determination and good quality of life of all;

The Society of Transsexual Women of the Philippines (STRAP), in adopting this declaration, hereby:

Rejects the pathologization of gender identities and expressions and supports the call to Stop Trans Pathologization by the year 2012

Affirms that the development of gender identity and expression is part of the right to the free development of personality;

Affirms that gender identity and expression is a matter of self-determination and as sacred as the right to life itself;

Affirms that the role of the psychiatric and medical communities over the lives of transgender people is not to pathologize and stigmatize them but to provide patient-centred care that upholds that highest possible standards of health; and

Calls for rights-based legislation in the Philippines that would protect transgender people from discrimination and allow them to change their legal sex into their gender identity.

Friday, 5 November 2010

Iloilo Math Goddess to judge Queen of Cebu

Lahug, CEBU – Rica Paras, the Math Goddess of Iloilo in the hit reality TV show Pinoy Big Brother (PBB) Double Up, is slated to judge Cebu’s most prestigious pageant for Cebuana transpinays (transgender/transsexual Filipinas), Queen of Cebu on 6 November 2010, Saturday, 8 pm at the Waterfront Hotel Cebu.

“I am very excited to be one of the judges of Queen of Cebu 2010 and grateful to Cary Santiago, Sal Malto and the rest of the members of Clothes for Life Foundation for inviting me here,” says Rica who holds the distinction of being the first ever transgender housemate in the Philippine version of Big Brother.

“As the current Vice Chairwoman of the only transgender rights advocacy organization in the Philippines, I am happy that Queen of Cebu exists as a platform to showcase the beauty and brilliance of transgender Cebuanas,” adds the transpinay celebrity. A day before the pageant, Rica flew to Cebu to give the 21 Queen of Cebu 2010 candidates a talk on self-empowerment, gender identity and human rights.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

STRAP salutes Queen of Cebu

Every girl dreams of being treated like a Princess. But in Cebu, they can actually dream of becoming a Queen.

The Society of Transsexual Women of the Philippines (STRAP) congratulates the organizers of Queen of Cebu on its sophomore year. Envisioned as an alternative pageant, Queen of Cebu has proven not only to be a grand showcase of the beauty, talent & splendid uniqueness of the Cebuana transpinay but as well as a magnificent platform to advocate for respect of gender diversity & the right to determine one’s gender identity.

Thank you to those who put together Queen of Cebu & for setting a very high bar indeed. As has been said, excellence is the best deterrent to sexism. Now our Cebuana transpinay sisters have another prestigious pageant that they can not only be proud to be a part of & call their own but as well as to use to break down barriers of prejudice.

May dreams come true on pageant night (6 November 2010, Saturday, 8 pm, Waterfront Hotel Cebu)! May all the candidates’ stars shine bright! And to the next Queen, may you reign in kindness & compassion, love & light!

In sisterhood,

The Society of Transsexual Women of the Philippines