In celebration of International Transgender Day of Visibility, the HRC Foundation joins Geena Rocero’s mission to change the way the world talks about gender recognition rights.

Geena shared her story in a moving TED2014 video.

She says she grew up poor in Manila and began competing in beauty pageants at 15. At 17, she immigrated to the United States. At a restaurant in the lower east side of New York, at age 21, she was discovered by a fashion photographer. Her modeling career took off from there and she was signed with Next Models, one the most prominent modeling agencies in the world. 

In 2013, she decided to come out professionally as a transgender woman -- and it was in that moving TED 2014 video where she first shared her story publicly. She hasnow committed her energy to being an advocate for transgender individuals around the world by launching Gender Proud.

Gender Proud’s goals are to advocate for policies that allow transgender individuals to change their names and gender markers without having to go through surgery. And, the organization will raise the voices of individuals in the transgender community.

 “Geena is inspiring countless individuals and we're proud to join her in elevating the voices of transgender people across the globe," said Ty Cobb, Director of the HRC Foundation's Global Engagement  Program.  "In almost every corner of our world, transgender people experience alarming levels of violence and discrimination – disproportionate to that faced by their lesbian, gay and bisexual peers. Today, we join Geena in the commitment to advance the rights of transgender people around the world and celebrate the community’s strength and resiliency."

HRC Foundation is a proud partner of Gender Proud. For more information on coming out as transgender or supporting those coming out as transgender see HRC’s Transgender Visibility guide. You can also find additional transgender-specific workplace, healthcare and family resources at

Filed under: Transgender

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