Changing the world by making her own rules.
Geena Rocero was discovered while competing in a transgender beauty pageant in the Philippines at 15 years old, and two years later, was U.S.-bound to pursue a life of modeling. Instead, she ended up working at a cosmetics counter at Macy’s and struggling with American transphobia. A self-proclaimed “hustler,” Geena decided to move to New York, and over the next 12 years, modeled for brands like Target, Revlon, and Macy’s (take that, beauty counter). On the surface, she was racking up the wins, but underneath, the pain of keeping her story under wraps was taking its toll. So to celebrate her 30th birthday, she came out as trans during her TED talk to bring more visibility to the transgender community. Since then, she’s co-founded GenderProud, an organization that empowers marginalized transgender communities around the world and helps them advocate for their own legal rights. In this episode, Geena talks with Sophia about the emotional moment when she saw an “F” on her driver’s license for the first time, how Beyonce helped her become the woman she is today, and the power and liberation that comes with telling your truth. Listen in on their convo here, read more here, or press play below.