A known personality in the auto community for his extensive car collection, his racing and drifting skills, and his customized cars, Ian King has been perceived as an all macho alpha male since forever, basing on his auto hobbies alone, and the fact that he's an heir to a popular motel chain.
That was until this weekend, when Ian surprised everyone by coming out as a transgender woman, carrying the name Angelina Mead King. Nearly four years after creating her Instagram account @hailtothe_queen_, she revealed that Ian and Angelina are the same person, and that her journey towards being a woman is supported by her wife, host Joey Mead King (love really wins!).
Her close friends, including those from the car community, also praised her for being brave enough to talk about her identity. The line “sometimes the king is a woman” couldn't be any truer in Angelina's case—and we so admire her for it.
With more and more transgender women opening up and fully celebrating their identity, and with more groups pushing for LGBT rights, there is no better time than now to take our cue from them when it comes to courage, passion, and staying true to yourself. Here's how prominent Filipino transgender women are inspiring all of us:
1. Veejay Floresca: Fight for your rights!
After being denied entry in Valkyrie for being a transgender, Veejay fought for her rights with much class, emphasizing that regardless of her gender orientation, she still deserves the same rights men and women enjoy, wherever they go. Her meeting with the management of Valkyrie ended on a good note, as the nightclub said that it will accept anyone, regardless of their gender orientation.
2. Trixie Maristela: Be strong for your loved ones.
Even if some people (family members included) would question her relationship with boyfriend Art Sta. Ana, Trixie stood by their love, no matter how hard circumstances got. Through it all, their love for each other has become stronger and stronger, with their respective families eventually accepting their relationship.
3. Geena Rocero: Be true to yourself.
Despite all the success Geena has as a model, formerly managed by the prestigious NEXT model management agency, and appearing in multiple swimsuit and fashion editorials in US publications, she took the risk of opening up on her transgender identity during her TED talk in March 2014. Her decision to be true to her self paid off, earning her praises from the LGBT community and the fashion industry. Today, she continues to model for brands like Bench and Hanes, and further promotes transgender awareness.
4. Geraldine Roman: Prove your worth to silence critics.
While dealing with her detractors who questioned her capability to win a seat in congress due to her identity, Geraldine chose not to answer back to those who have said hurtful words about her. Instead, she proved her worth by working hard during the campaign, leading her to win a seat in congress, and her critics have remained silent since.
5. Angelina King: You can have the best of both worlds!
While Angelina identifies herself as a woman, rocking heels and dresses, this does not stop her from being all out with her passion for cars. The best of both worlds, indeed.
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Artwork by Jana Jimenez. Photographs from instagram.com/geenarocero, instagram.com/veejayfloresca, instagram.com/trixiemaristela, instagram.com/hailtothe_queen_, and Geraldine Roman's Facebook page.