Model Geena Rocero: Why I Must Come Out of my Closet

Take 10 minutes out of your time today and watch this speech given by fashion model Geena Rocero on TED. Back in the Philippines, when Rocero first saw the first photo of herself shot in a bikini, she felt she couldn't be more proud. This may just sound like a typical experience for a lot of women in the modeling industry, but to Rocero, it was not, and that's because she was born with the gender assignment "boy."

One thing lead to another, Rocero ended up immigrating to the States, and had her name and gender marker changed. The day that her gender was marked as "F" was the day that she felt as though her outside self finally matched her inner truth.

Soon after, Rocero's career as a model took off, and she became successful in the industry. The catch is: over the past nine years, no one had known her history, not even her agent.

Rocero realizes that she was lucky enough to go through with such a process. For many others, the reality is that they are not very fortunate. Most members of Rocero's community can barely get by their days without difficulties and hatred, let alone becoming a model.

This begs a question: does it really matter what gender you have and who you really are? It seems that people are so quick at judging others, they sometimes forget that we are all humans, and we deserve to be treated equally and with respect.

We'd love to hear what your thoughts are on this. Drop us a comment below and let us know what you think.

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Gary Winchester Martin's picture

My favorite new writer!

Yes! Another great voice for the community.

Graham Glover's picture

Bravo, Geena! Some of us can be out, some of us cannot. I cannot. No matter, behind the camera I can use all that I am to express myself. I connect with people in ways others cannot. What a story she tells!

Thank you, Tam, for this post.

Tam Nguyen's picture

Thank you sir :)

Tam Nguyen's picture

Btw I'm kinda sorta a programmer myself. Went to school for Computer Science and Engineer, ended up being a system engineer for a software company.

Graham Glover's picture

I saw that from your website. That's great! It's funny, I was just in NYC over the weekend, which your website says is where you now live. I love the place. This weekend I was a chaperone for my daughter's high school band, as well as the official photographers for them.

My current avatar is of my 24/7 model. I do some fashion work, not as much as I'd like, but I have fun with it. The prior one was of me, to which I will eventually return.