Ar Con felt the urge of providing a safe place for Filipino Transgender men…. Thus, the creation of PinoyFTM came into being. He thought that this will “serve as a venue to share life stories of people with transgender experience without fear of discrimination, as well as, to gather fellow transpinoys into one group”. Ar, as his friends fondly call him, added that Pinoy FTM would serve as a repository of research, collection and documentation of information about transgender life.
Started as online friends in 2009-2010, through sharing of Youtube videos, Ar and the rest of the members were able to transform this onlinegroup into an active organization with two bodies functioning simultaneously, the Working group and the Support group. “The one is the public face of Pinoy FTM responsible for promoting the group and engaging in gender and human rights advocacy and the other one is mostly composed of “stealth” members who are supporting the group and working on strengthening the internal organization”, confidently elucidated by Ar, founder of PinoyFTM.
Having “FTM” as part of the group’s name is derived from the idea of valuing the past and honouring a Filipino saying, “Ang hinde marunong lumingon sa pinanggalingan ay hinde makakarating sa paroroonan” (a person who does not look back to his past will never reach his destiny), Ar, pen and ink artist, publicly confessed. He further elaborated that, “While it is very true that we are on this journey of finding our true selves, it is never wrong to look back and remember that we were assigned as females at birth but identify ourselves and live as males”. Thus, making PinoyFTM what it is.
He added that many organizations may come into being and each may have specific needs but “regardless of which group we belong to, we are taking these very important steps towards our main goal -- greater community acceptance”, enthusiastically urging all transgenders in the country to heed the voice of solidarity.
Encouraging cisgenders to embrace diversity and “hate no more”, Ar, an outdoor enthusiast who loves to commune with nature through marathons, rock climbing, mountain trekking and long distance biking, emphasized that, “We are diverse in many aspects of this human life. But we all go back to our basic common denominator, being human. Eliminate discrimination specially the ones from WITHIN”.
Ar, who is into piano but looks forward to be part of The Ironman Triathlon, plans to dedicate his entire lifetime to PinoyFTM and to the Association of Transgenders in the Philippines. “I am personally looking forward to a more active presence in the advocacy of the Transgenders in the Philippines”, and he is calling for unity among transgenders in the country, “Let us put aside whatever it is that holds us back from being unified. This movement is far greater and nobler than us individually but without each of us moving, there will be no movement” Ar concluded.
Association of Transgenders in the Philippines