We’ve always talked about inspiring women. Now, let’s talk about empowering transwomen. You know those people, whom by definition, transitioned from male to female; but by which we prefer to say, those who have so courageously transcended gender to honor their true self.
In this Trans Series, we interview three transwomen and know more about their everyday plights—what the dating field is like, and just how it is to live as a transgender in today’s generation.
G3 San Diego, movie and television writer, walks us through her early years being a trans-teen to the full ferocious transwoman she is today.
Stating the obvious
G3 started on her hormonal pill therapy in junior high and was on it until college when she stopped. She, however, wasn’t familiar with the term “transitioning” back then and believes there wasn’t really a transition process to begin with. She didn’t have anything done—she just grew her hair long, never had surgery, and didn’t even change her name. While on the pill, she recalls having gained appetite all of a sudden, and her physical features softened a bit and became more feminine.
In the LGBT community, G3 has quite a reputation that precedes her. She’s the only G3 after all. When asked how she feels about getting compliments pertaining to her looking like a real woman, she admits, “Actually mas naiinis nga ako eh, they think it’s a compliment. Ngayon ko na lang naiintindihan, kasi yun psyche mo is syempre female, tapos when you get complimented na ‘wow, girl ka’ how would you feel diba? Feeling nila achievement ‘yun although it’s stating the obvious.”
Coming out to family though and getting accepted took a while for G3. They would eat out together and she’d be addressed as a “ma’am” where she would feel more embarrassed for her family than for herself. “Ultimately it was when I left my parents' house and I started living on my own that the acceptance came. And when they saw that I was working hard, and I was achieving things. I remember my first job in advertising, I showed my mom my salary slip. My dad was super proud he showed it to everyone,” she happily recalls.
At present, she has established a healthy relationship with them sharing, “I think it’s very hard when you’re young and you feel like your parents don’t accept you, you tend to rebel. But as you grow older, you tend to realize din, you see their perspective. Ang lungkot din siguro for parents… Ang perception kasi you’d never amount to anything, you’d just be bullied. Now I make it up na for all the times I was rebellious as a child. Whatever my parents say, no matter how old I am, I obey. I make it a point that I honor them whenever I can.”
A heart that’s right
Let’s admit it, the concept of transgenderism becomes a bit more taboo when you marry it with Christianity. But G3 boldly shares her walk of faith with God as a Christian woman.
“Coming to terms with that… it’s like a push and pull,” she shares. In her prayer life, she asks God, “You created me this way, male and female, does what I look like dishonor you?” To which she eventually found the answer: “It’s an issue of the heart. So kung ano yung heart mo, it shouldn’t matter what your outward appearance is. It goes for anyone. As long as you are in the right relationship, that’s what I constantly pray for—make me right with you.
She also notes how the girls now are so pretty and have become aggressive in getting what they want. “So talo ka pa din in some ways, dehado ka pa din. Which is sad, because you have so much to offer… hindi sa meron kang pinupunuan, I am wonderfully and fearfully made as the Bible says. This is how I am.”
That is perhaps what helps G3 cope with everyday disappointments. She’s now at a stage where love sometimes feels like an elusive concept. She adds, “If it doesn’t come, it’s okay. I have God, He’s the greatest guy in my life. It’s a road that I’m treading now, it’s like a love story din eh. Parang I wanna know more about Jesus, he’s making me right.”
Dating, love, a battlefield
It’s very, very difficult as a transwoman to date. That can’t be stressed enough. As per G3, “Even if you’re the prettiest transwoman, you go to a bar, then guys will approach you because they think you’re attractive and the moment they find out, they get turned off. So it’s a daily rejection cycle.”
She shares that introducing yourself as a person instead of focusing on being a transwoman looking for love lets the other person get to know you better first before arriving at quick conclusions. “Nakakadagdag talaga ng self-esteem pag may nagkakagusto sayo, kaya most trans-teens, they work on their appearance, the transition and they become very beautiful. But of course, there will always be guys who will not be into that, no matter how pretty, smart, or funny you are. It doesn’t make you any less of a catch.”
G3 also lists these notes for her fellow transwomen looking to find love:
1. “You have to be very comfortable with yourself first, be very sure about yourself. Develop your personality. You have to be your own person. You have to be able to embrace what is given to you.”
2. “Eventually, someday, someone will see those qualities and it’s gonna be you, you’re going to be a perfect fit. But meanwhile, keep trying.”
3. “If you like this guy, approach him. Tell him. Life is so short, you can’t wait around for people to ask you out. If you know yourself, and you’re confident enough, you know who you like and you think he might have a liking towards you, goooo.”
4. “Whatever you feel like saying, to whoever you feel like saying… say it. It doesn’t have to be love.”
5. “You have to be very self-assured, very secure about yourself. Kasi every day, ire-reject ka talaga ng tao. But there are some who are secure enough in their manhood, they wouldn’t care.
6. “When it gets serious, you have to lay down your cards. This is what’s going to happen, this is how the world will look at a love like this. It’s harder for the guy, but if the guy overcomes it, bongga mo. Bongga ng guy, ibig sabihin mahal ka talaga niya.”
Because yes, at the end of the day, G3 believes true love changes you. “I don’t think it’s love if it doesn’t change you.” But she also reiterates in parting, “If you want to date, you have to be a complete person. Because it’s going to damage you on a daily basis, it’s going to beat you up. You have to have a strong heart.” For her though, she firmly holds on to this: “I am transwoman, I am very fabulous, and I’m going to love you well.”
ALSO READ: In Focus: Transwoman Lui Castaneda, She Ain’t Less of a Woman
Photographs by Vyn Radovan