Monday, January 23, 2017

"Thank You!"

by Mikaella Nacario

My name is Mikaellah Nacario. I'm 17 years of age, and single. My parents are far away from me, because they are working overseas for our family's future.

My brothers are not good to me, because I'm different from them. Because I'm beautiful and they are ugly, so they are insecure around me. Sometime they do not give me food, and sometimes I'm hungry because of them.

I grew up with my grandmother. She was the one who always took care of me. She was always by my side. She taught me to be a good person and God fearing. From the day my mother left us to work abroad, my grandmother took care of us, from waking up in the morning and going to school... I always accompanied my grandmother. Until my teenage years, I was always with her.

I promised myself that someday, I would be the one to take care of her. I planned to work hard for my grandmother, because I loved her so much. However, the day came when she got sick... I prayed, "Not my grandmother, God! Not now!" It hurt so much when I saw her in pain. Until the day she died, I asked "why?" That really hurt and I still miss her.

I stopped going to school because I needed to work, to lessen the burden on the family. But I pray I will go back to school someday. I believe education is the key to surviving poverty and having a better future, and so that my family (especially my grandmother) will be proud of me. My ambition is to travel all over the world, to see the beauty of every country, and become an inspiration to everybody.

I want to share to you that no matter how tough it is, we still need to be happy. And be thankful that we are still alive, and to continue to dream about our goal in life.

I'm a simple human being. Happy to see my God-fearing family. I'm scared to be alone... I pray that my family will be together as long as I live, but I know this life is only temporary.

I'm sorry for those people I've hurt, and I have already forgiven those persons who have hurt me, and I am thankful because I have become a stronger person.

I believe that forgiveness means we must forget.

I hope that someday I can reach my dreams, not just in my dreams! I want to help my mother, so I'm looking for a better work. I want my mother back, so that she will never need to go abroad again to work for us. Indeed, I want to work for her now. I know she needs to rest, and I am mature enough to support her.

I'm so thankful for my friends, who educate me even though I am not in school, because if not for them I would not know much. My brothers won't teach me because they say I'm not their true brother, because I have a different father. I'm so blessed because I have my mother and my friends.

Why is it that my brothers cannot accept me as their youngest brother? They don't even know that I accept them. I always ask myself, "What's wrong with me?" I asked my mother about that once. She told me, "Be patient, son. You don't have to be with them or to like them. Just know that I'm here for you always. Wherever you go, I'll be your guardian."

All I can say is, "Thank you!" Thanks to all the people who have been at my side, through hot and cold.  Thank you! Thank you!

Monday, November 7, 2016

My Simple Life

by Pinkster

My life starts like this...  You can call me Saii. I'm 25 years old. I have been dressing like a woman since I was 13.. but before that, I had an older cousin who told me to follow my heart, and let myself to decide to dress like a woman...

I meet other ladyboys where I live, who always want me to go with them and follow all the things they want to do... we go to the disco bar and to other places, to enjoy ourselves and just for a fun party... I have a lot of experiences.

I sell vegetables and fish in plastic bags, and the money i earn is used for my needs... since I live in my grandmother's house... my other relatives do not treat me very well, because of my gender... because they say it's a sin... for me. it's not a sin because God created me... that's why I always look for work... because they don't support me... and so I sell fish, and the money I earn is sent it to my family back in the province (my mother and father are farmers)... I don't know what's wrong with them or why my relatives do not treat me well. Maybe it's because they are in a good position in life, or maybe because of my gender..

I also try to earn money through joining contests, like dancing... and learned to dance while I was in high school... after I finished my studies, I would walk home and collect plactic to sell so that I could buy pills or hormones... I also collected metal. And when I get home, I do all of the housework because I live in my grandmother's house and so I do all the things they want... I follow all of their instructions... and when I'm finished, I go to the market and sell fish... and when it's closing time, I clean some of the tables and they pay me 40 pesos each table... so I have some money. I can say that I have a very bad experience... since my gender is still not accepted... because even my own relatives do not accept me...

And the time is running... when I was 18, I searched for a partner online, but it's really hard because most of the men who are online are looking for naked shows... I found one who I thoughi was serious, but he was just after sex when we met... so I didn't give myself to him just for that... I finished my relationship with him...

So I went back to working in the market and saved, and I was thankful because I saved enough to buy a few things and to bring my mother and father here in the city... I'm happy because my family accepts and loves me for who I am, even though other people and my relatives always discriminate against my gender... life is very hard, and I know it's a challenge, so I need to be brave and face the life I've chosen... at least I'm happy for who I am...

In 2010, I joined an organization.... all the ladyboys in our barangay (neighborhood) united and began to advocate for ourselves. We have a feeding program and donate blood... and we plan what projects we are going to do so that the barangay will help us and support our gender... so it makes me happy and proud to be part of the third sex because it's not about the gender, it's about how you share true happiness and joy to all the people we help in our organization. And I've met a lot of ladyboys from different places.

In 2013, I met a man who I thought would make me happy and complete, but he just give me a nightmare... at the start it was very good and happy... but after a year, the guy I thought would make me happy was always hurting me... yes, he worked hard for us and for our needs... but he would go home drunk and jealous if i wouldn't have sex with him.. and he would force me... I don't know why I couldn't go away from him, maybe because he was the only man who accepted my gender and treated me like a girl, but the problem is that when he was drunk, he would act so wild and I don't know why... the last time we fought, I was hit in the face, and I had a lot of wounds on my body... and I went home, but I dont know why I always back to him, even when he treats me like that when he is drunk.. and now it's almost three months that we are not together, because I still want to think if it's really love or I'm just afraid that I can't find a man like him...

I am ready to start a new chapter in my life.  I have a plan to start a small business for my family so that I can have a better source of income... and so that we won't be hungry and have to ask help from our relatives or other people...

I can say now that, because of all the experiences I have been through, I have become a very strong person.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Nobody Can Stop Me

By Gabrielle Diolata Payla

It was a terribly hot summer. A bottle of Coke was not enough to quench my thirst, while sitting under a shady acacia tree trying to construct some answers to the questions that kept on   haunting me. What’s wrong with being a ladyboy? Everybody’s telling me that I’ve changed a lot. Is it because I am fond of using gay lingo from morning till night? Or is it because I joined a certain LGBT community? My relatives and friends kept on reprimanding me, they wanted me to go back to my old self. But then, I asked myself: “Where were they when I needed them the most? Where were they during my desperate moments?”

I remembered back to my early childhood. I am not ashamed to say that I was born to this valley of tears with no silver spoon.  Just like my older sister, I haven’t seen my biological father since birth. In simplest terms, nobody provided a father figure to me.
Despite this unwanted chapter of my life, however, any kind of regret was invisible on my face. I was raised by my mother wonderfully, even though she was a single mom. She lovingly taught me to fear our Almighty God more than anything else. She patiently brought me to church every Sunday. Who says that I am a non- Bible-believing Christian?  
From a private school owned and managed by our pastor, I transferred to a public school for my high school days. When I was in my sophomore year, however, something strange happened regarding my personality which I could not comprehend. It’s not just that my voice changed, new hair started to grow, and inevitable pimples began to appear. I loved to mingle with my girl classmates, rather than the boys. I loved to be with them most of the time. In fact, I experienced a secret crush on a boy classmate. Before I knew it, it was the very beginning of my transition period regarding my gender identity.
After I finished high school, my mom told me to stop school for a while. She went to Manila to work. I was left all alone under the custody of my sister, who already had a family of her own. Mind you, she was shocked a little bit when I decided to come out from my closet. But then, it seemed that I was freed finally from a prison for men.
Sadly, most of my relatives rejected me upon knowing that I was gay. They shunned me as if I was suffering from leprosy. They even denied that I was part of the family. The harmonious relationship between my sister and I was sabotaged because of them. I felt I was an outcast. Their bad attitude toward me made me decide to live with another ladyboy in the city, who accepted me for who I am. Also, she persuaded her parents to let me work at the grocery store owned by them. (I was quite envious to witness how my friend Devie was treated by her parents and relatives, despite being a ladyboy.)
At Devie’s house, I learned so many things. She taught me the correct fashion.  She was an excellent teacher and a mentor, especially about the question-and-answer portion of a typical gay beauty pageant. The fact is, I’ve won several times as Miss Gay Barangay in several neighboring cities. And I’d like to borrow the famous line of Miss Universe, Pia Wurtzbach: “I am confidently beautiful with a heart.”   
Recently, I came to know a German guy through the internet. I told him everything about me, particularly of being a ladyboy. To make the story short, we developed a long-distance relationship. Surprisingly, he once paid me a visit here in our country. I was not able to resist when he offered to help me financially. However, our relationship lasted only for a year, because our communication stopped. I didn’t know the reason why.   
Right now, I am living independently. I am renting a small room in a house near the grocery store where I am working. My mom and my sister come to my place more often. Maybe they have come to realize that I’m not a total menace to my family and society. I am enjoying all the freedom of being a ladyboy. Even though I don’t have a love life as of this writing... yeah, I am very happy. Hopefully, I am waiting for Mr. Right to come at the very perfect time. Above all, nobody can stop me from living as a ladyboy. I will and I can!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

My Ex-Darling Wanda

by Unikaaka

I’m sure I have mentioned her in the past, and probably her name will come up in my future articles as well. I can say she’s played a huge part in becoming who I am right now as a ladyboy and a friend. We shared a lot of ups and downs. I loved her so dearly that I can't decide what I consider her now, after how she bad-mouthed me on Facebook.


At first, I really didn’t like her because she seemed a fake person to me. We weren’t close friends, yet she complimented me every time we met. She's the sporty type of ladyboy who plays volleyball, so we didn’t mingle much. After the company where I used to work closed, I sought out friends to hang out with, but nobody was around and she was the only one who welcomed me and was always available for chat. Soon after, I began to like her, and we shared time together most of the time when I got out of the house, and sometimes she visited me at home. She was almost courting me to form a tighter bond, and then our relationship bloomed and we became close friends. At that time, I was at the peak of my career from having a few foreign sponsors, and so every time we went out, I always treated her (and I mean always).

Our quarrel started when I posted a comment about the money she owed me – which, by the way, was my very first time I tried to collect from her, after so many years had passed.

At one of her birthday celebrations, she borrowed my cellphone.  This was at her sister’s place. We drank quite a lot that night. Soon we realized that my phone was gone, and she blamed my ex (whom she personally invited). I believed her at first, but I had a gut feeling that my ex didn’t do it.  Then I found out from my ex that Wanda confessed to him that she might have left it at the store where she bought the liquor. She promised to repay me for losing my phone, and therefore this became her debt to me. Also, I lent her money for the electric bill (after telling her mom that I had money, so I couldn’t refuse).

She also found sponsors of her own, but I never felt like she was willing to reciprocate. Then I started to question her friendship. I heard stuff from other friends that she was having a party, but I didn’t get any invitation. Not only that, she introduced me to bad people who happened to be her friends, who cheated and stole from me. But I didn’t care much back then, as long as she remained true to me; and, well, of course, I considered her my best friend.

From everything that was going on, my doubts became deeper. I read a seemingly happy status on her timeline on Facebook, and so I commented to remind her to pay her debt. I didn’t try to collect her debts before, because I knew what she was going through with her family. This was the only time I found proof that she had money, and so I took the chance. I had a very bad connection at that time, so I wasn’t able to read her comments after leaving mine. The day after, I was astounded how negative the comments were coming from her. That I wasn’t really pretty, that I just had fair skin and that if I were darker, she’d be better looking than I am. She also told me that I had no real friends, which was really saddening.  When I read everything she wrote, I felt sad and mad at the same time. I felt like I didn’t deserve what she’d done to me. My love turned into hate, and all I felt like doing was to eliminate her presence and to not get associated with someone like her any longer, and so I cut off our communications (which she helped me by blocking me first).

I found bliss in talking bad behind her back every time my other friends visited me to have a chat. She has remained our topic of discussion for as long as I can remember. And to be honest, I don't feel bad about it. It’s therapeutic in some way, that by doing so I was letting all my frustrations and anger out.

Now that it’s all in the past, I take the lesson from this experience to no longer trust quickly. That loving a person can also bring you sadness when you don’t take good care of the relationship. And that the opposite of love isn’t hate, but indifference.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Finding the Good in Goodbye

by Audrey Luna

“I used to want you so bad, I’m so through with that…” is a lyric from Beyonce’s song, Best Thing I Never Had. Sad as it may sound, for it brings us the shattering feeling of a break-up. But I think it actually means finding the good in giving up someone we love who has caused us pain. It shows us the light of finally realizing the hopeless situation of the relationship, which then forces us to leave that person before further damage happens. And this is what this article is all about – finding the courage of giving up a relationship that is running to its dead end.

Relationships often start with a happy, loving and fulfilling stage where lovers enjoy the wonderful feelings and emotions invoked by what they call ‘true love’. But what if the one who used to build you up turns out to be the person who pushes you down? What if the person who supported and protected you turns out to be the one who devastates you? What if no matter how many times you give that person a chance to make up the mess he created, he still chooses to take you for granted? Would you stay and fight for the toxic relationship? Or would you eventually give up on it?
In my case, I gave up the guy I used to love and used to want. I gave up on him because for months, our relationship had been in turmoil. We had been fighting almost everyday over the same issues. It all started when he began bringing up my past, the embarrassing and degrading incidents, right to my face. It was fine at first with me, since I had wronged him too. However, he started to use those old experiences of mine to go against, manipulate, and hurt me. I tried to warn him. I begged him to stop, for I was becoming tired of enduring the pain that he was causing me. But he never listened. Instead, he continued such acts of abuse towards me. I had been fighting for myself and for the relationship, yet he took everything for granted until everything destroyed me mentally and emotionally.
Nevertheless, I tried my best to confront him with everything that I felt and everything that happened to me, in the hope that he would realize his faults. Many times I was anticipating that he would change or at least stop the abuse. However, I always ended up disappointed and hurt. I had been patient towards him for the hope that the guy I used to love would awaken. But nothing ever improved with him and our relationship. He even became worse. The mental and emotional damages I started to have exacerbated. So, I came to a decision to give up on him and on our dying relationship.
It was hard for me to act on my decision, since I love him so much. But I also needed to protect myself from his abusive actions. It was impossible to fight for a relationship while I was trying to recover from the debilitating effects of his abuse. At least I thought that it would be better this way, than if we continued hurting each other.
Sometimes we need to make a decision for ourselves and for our own health. We need to prioritize our feelings and needs, if the other party can’t do it for us. We need to bring our struggles to a halt and finally free ourselves from the pain.
I know my journey of moving on and letting go will not be easy. It will take a long time dealing with the melancholy. Of course, there will be times that I will miss him and want him back. There will be times that I would wish we were stronger to fight the storm that came to us. But these will just be tough times I need to face as a consequence of my decision. Still, I need to continue with my newly chosen path, with an even stronger instinct to survive.

As Beyonce’s song also says, “Thank God I found the good in goodbye”. It is an inspirational line in my new journey. I’m loveless and lonely in the sense that I lost the man of my dreams. But I’m happy to finally feel free. We should never forget what life is all about, living every moment as happy as one should be.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Looking for More Than a Great Face

by Gwen Hadfield

I'm not just looking for a man who has high standards in life, but also a man that is willing to accept me wholeheartedly and has the time to listen to whatever I may say or do. What good is a man who has a great face but doesn't know how to respect a ladyboy? I want a man who can proudly say that I am his girlfriend or partner.

Gwen Hadfield

I am not much into the looks of  a man physically, but the whole personality of the person. Can he handle our relationship like a man? When there are struggles, is he there to face them and stand up for us?

Some of my former boyfriends had disabilities. There was one who had only one eye. He was blind, but in spite of his situation in life, I was proud of him because he was better than so-called "normal" people who appear complete but on the inside are irresponsible or cowardly. He was younger than I was. I felt his real love. He was a very sweet boyfriend and very supportive. We always met at his family's house. He was very proud of me as his girlfriend. I truly loved him unconditionally. What really made me fall in love with him was his sweetness... he would always say, 'Thank you, Gwen, for loving me'. We were only together for six months because of his family, who were against our relationship. It was a bad break-up because it was just on the phone, we couldn't even talk personally because his father was listening. Even though we had a very short time together, he made me feel that I was special.

Another man was very special in my life. Our story started on the internet. I met him on a website, and we became good friends and talked almost everyday. We were friends on the internet for a year before our boyfriend/girlfriend relationship developed. Even though we sometimes argued, our relationship just became stronger. Then one day, he surprised me by saying that he would come to the Philippines to meet me in person. I didn't believe him until he gave his flight details! I asked my friends for advice, and they told me to take a chance and meet him.

I asked one of my friends to come with me to the airport when I went to meet him. It was such an emotional day. I was happy and excited to see him. I was not expecting that he had a crippled leg! He told me that he had polio when he was a child. I was so shocked, and almost walked out because he did not even mention his disability. Instead, I walked towards him, my tears falling down, and I hugged him. A lot of people were watching us. Instead of being so shy, I became very brave and walked together with him, hand in hand. I no longer cared what people said.

When we were inside the cab, I was crying and he wiped my tears and said. "Are you crying, Gwen, because of my looks???"

I said "No! I am crying because I am so happy to see you, and I am very grateful because you came here all the way from London just to meet me." I hugged him and thanked him for coming into my life.

We lived together in an apartment and became very happy. We lived as wife and husband. I took care of him. I cooked everything he wanted. He was a chef,and he always cooked Italian dishes. He met my friends and some of my relatives.

When the time came for him to return to London, I did not promise anything, but I said I would try my very best to keep this relationship going strong. He promised to return and marry me.

Sadly, after a couple of months, his children found out about our relationship and they were very upset. He was divorced and had three daughters. That caused our relationship to fail. He accused me of many things that I didn't do. We argued many times because of the influence of his friends and children, which I didn't like. I thought he was the right man for me and the last man in my life, but I was wrong... he chose to believe other people rather than me. He became very jealous. I truly loved him. I felt my life was nothing when he was gone. He still communicates with me, but I am avoiding him because of his untrue accusations. He lost my trust.

That's why now I am afraid to love. I am afraid of men. My life is happy being single...

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Working Professionally & the Anti-Discrimination Bill

by Kim

I would like to share my story about my work experiences, and how hard it is to work normally in this judgmental society.

Being professional is one of the most important aspects of being successful at your job. Your professionalism could open the door to another career, but how can you do such a thing, wherein at the beginning they don't allow you to dress up into your desired gender? BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) or call centers are one of the types of employment that will accept transgenders regardless of how they dress up, but what about all the other types of employment? I was able to finish a four-year college degree in business administration, but how can I use and apply my education in the corporate world?

I tried applying into a telecom company, but unfortunately they didn't allow me to work for them if I wouldn't abide by their policy of dressing up as per what the gender of my I.D. said. This is the sad part of not approving the pending law about Equal Rights of the LGBT Community, which includes discrimination based on preferring to dress up according to one's chosen gender rather than what is stated on one's birth certificate.

For almost three years, I worked as a sales representative agent in the BPO world. But now I've decided to work at home - still working as a sales marketing representative for HP Computers. I'm finally able to work in the profession I trained for.

Professionalism doesn't just apply to working in the corporate world, but wherever you are now, if you're able to use your education and training with your current job, then that makes you a professional employee.

All of this is a prime example of discrimination due to not approving laws against discrimination against the LGBT community. This has been a pending case for 15 years now, since it was passed to the court. We are willing to comply to the proper rules that they want, but with the small favor that they will also to give us the right of living and being able to work in which industry we choose.

I have a dream, so many dreams that I would like to achieve in my life. Securing my future is my first priority in life. With or without a partner in life, I should secure my future by investing my money. I would like to have my own house and business, so that when my hair turns white, I can still support myself. But the question is: How can I do that when the world gives me limited opportunities that won't help me to achieve my goals in life?

My country tolerates transgenders, but true acceptance would be much appreciated. Then we could apply to any job opportunity, without being judged for our looks but looking at what we can do to help the company.

I wish more companies were aware of the equality training curriculum which is available. This training curriculum provides comprehensive, interactive training lessons designed to increase awareness of sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression (SOGIE) issues, while providing practitioners with increased knowledge, tools and resources for working with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth in the juvenile justice system. We developed this national training curriculum in response to the growing call for training and to fill a gap in existing resources. Toward Equality is the first comprehensive, interactive program dedicated to LGBT youth in the juvenile justice system (as opposed to other youth-serving systems), and flows from the information and recommendations in Hidden Injustice. The purpose of this curriculum is for participants to gain a foundational understanding of the terms and concepts related to sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression (SOGIE); normative adolescent development; and the “coming out” process for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth. Other lessons in this curriculum expand on these concepts, but this first lesson is intended as a primer of SOGIE terminology and concepts.

This is one way we can express to the government that we want to have our rights as human beings. We do not need special attention or special treatment. We just want equality as human beings.