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Queen of All Queens: Trans emergence from the grassroots

In 2015, a group of transgender women in Roxas City decided to “formally organize ourselves to deal with ‘away (infighting)’ among local trans community members,” said local trans leader Charmel Catalan. “Puro kasi insecurity kasi, puro pagsasapawan.” So Queen of All Queens was established as “some sort of an alternative family, since the members meet each other to give support.”

ALL PHOTOS COURTESY OF QUEENS OF ALL QUEENS

ROXAS CITY – Two years ago, in 2015, a group of transgender women in Roxas City decided to “formally organize ourselves to deal with away (infighting) among local trans community members,” said local trans leader Charmel Catalan. “Puro kasi insecurity kasi, puro pagsasapawan (Insecurities abound, and everyone wanted to best the other).”

And so Queen of All Queens was established – first as an online group, eventually becoming “some sort of an alternative family, since the members meet each other to give support,” Charmel said.

Queen of All Queens is – thus far – the ONLY somewhat formalized trans organization in the Province of Capiz.

As a side note, many of the trans clan’s members are “beauconeras (regulars of beauty pageants)”, so coming up with the name “was a no-brainer.”

By July 2017, Queen of All Queens already had “over 400 members online; over 70 of them are active.”

Charmel said that Queen of All Queens takes pride in “being active in community service”. For instance, it partnered with Gawad Kalinga in building houses for less fortunate Filipinos. Charmel laughs at this, i.e. “Beauty queen na beauty queen ang peg; outreach ang effect (We truly appeared like beauty queens who were doing outreach activities).”

Queen of All Queens also has efforts to help out LGBT people who were affected by natural disasters. For instance, “sa Pilar, dalawa ang namatay ‘nung Yolanda, nalunod (in Pilar, two LGBT people died during typhoon Yolanda; they drowned),” Charmel said. “We’ve reached out to make sure that disaster-affected LGBT people know how to manage risks to disaster.”

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Queen of All Queens is already considering formalizing its organization – i.e. registration with Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). This is “to help us broaden our scope, e.g. get recognized by government offices as ‘legit’.”

But even sans the bureaucratic compliance/red tape, “Queen of All Queens will always continue to be a (trans) family. Kasama namin ang isa’t isa (We are there for each other) no matter what,” Charmel ended.

For more information on Queen of Queens (or to become a member of the organization), visit HERE; or call 09308021994.

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