Transgender rights are human rights

Kate Montecarlo - Transpinay

11/01/2013 12:31

Kate Montecarlo agrees with what Aristotle had said that "Excellence is not just an act but a habit for, we are what we repeatedly do".   To Kate, excellence is not a piece of a thing to be won for one single time but "something that is consistently earned out of the passion of the heart, knowledge of the mind and discipline of the soul.  It is not the recognition, award, prize and trophy one receives that matters but the outcome of what one has rendered to herself, to the community and to humanity".

Kate believes that to be a success, "one's mind, heart, action and words should be in sync".

This indefatigable gender activist believes that being a transwoman is not just about skin deep and obsession to beauty, "Transgender women should not only focus on what is beautiful in the eyes of the people but more importantly on what is beautiful inside of a person manifested by her actions, words and attitudes.  A person can only be beautiful if she knows how to project herself and she has the capacity to act in accordance with the world she lives in”, explained by Kate who happened to be one of the most respectable Philippine beauty queens. 

Being a beauty queen is not enough for her, she made sure that she shares her strengths and courage to others, develop and empower people.  When she was the Vice-Chairwoman of the Society of Transsexual Women of the Philippines 2012-2013, she took the initiative to spearhead the creation of LGBT group (which was initially intended to be a transgender group) in Bacolod City called, Bacolod and Negros Gender Identity Society (BANGIS) - to strengthen the provincial based LGBTs and to address gender issues in the province.  She has also led the formation of the Association of Transgender people in the Philippines to strenghten the voices of the transmen and transwomen in the country, the only transgender group that embraces both transmen, transwomen, intersex and other gender-variant individuals.  

She believes that being a beauty queen gives her a chance to be connected with different people from all walks of life, "which makes it easier for me to reach a big number of transgender people in the Philippines.  Beauty queens should not only be focusing on the physical beauty but should also run a cause that will make our country not only a nice place to live in but the best place to die for".

Having worked in Japan for 8 years, Kate realized there's diversity in the transgender community.  "Transgenders' needs vary from one place to another, from one person to another.  Their culture, location and different views affect their priorities.  For one place, hormone therapy and body modification is of prime importance but to others, transgender rights, justice, equality and liberation is...," thoroughly explained by Kate, a well known Philippine beauty queen who has gathered more than 800 trophies in the arena of beauty pageant and has won the national title, Philippines 5 Prettiest in 1995.

She said that in order to address transgenders needs, we need to tailor it based on the identified needs of a particular region.

Kate feels that, "If transmen and transwomen of the Philippines have fortified the inner strengths in them, they don't need to rely to others to fight for their rights.  They can speak their minds, behave in accordance to propriety and fight for themselves and others.  Gender equality is then easy to achieve."

Kate Montecarlo has been invited for interviews by different researchers, social workers and trans communities both national and international.  In the field of transgenderism, Kate focuses on transgenders rights and transgender health specially HIV issues.

Kate is urrently holding a managerial position in one of the multi-national companies in the Philippines and is focusing on the empowerment of the transgenders in the country and strengthening leadership capabilities of the transgender advocates.  She is also the Chair of the Association of Transgender People in the Philippines and Head of the Psycho-social, Health, HIV and Education Committee.


Association of Transgender People in the Philippines (ATP)

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