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Confronting layers of social prejudice as a trans woman with dwarfism

Born with restricted growth (otherwise known as dwarfism), Chesca Madeline Cadiao believes that much needs to be done for the inclusion of persons with disability (PWD) in LGBTQIA discourses.

Photo by Dio Bermejo Guilbert (Courtesy of Chesca Madeline Cadiao)

This is part of #KaraniwangLGBTQIA, which Outrage Magazine officially launched on July 26, 2015 to offer vignettes of LGBT people/living, particularly in the Philippines, to give so-called “everyday people” – in this case, the common LGBTQIA people – that chance to share their stories.
As Outrage Magazine editor Michael David C. Tan says: “All our stories are valid – not just the stories of the ‘big shots’. And it’s high time we start telling all our stories.”

Given the right chances/opportunities, differently-abled people – including those from the LGBTQIA community – “can stand up with confidence and claim that we can defy not just physical challenges, but also the prejudgments others have of us that we can’t make it,” said transpinay Chesca Madeline Cadiao. “This is what (real) Pride is for me.”

Born with restricted growth (otherwise known as dwarfism), Mads believes that much needs to be done for the inclusion of persons with disability (PWD) in LGBTQIA discourses. 

“(I always say that) the best ‘revenge’ we could have for (the abled) is succeeding in life,” she said. But having said this, that no man is an island needs to also be stressed, with the “support of our families (biological or those formed out of necessity) very vital in building a person.”

Mads knows that a lot of LGBTQIA people are afraid to even come out because of how society may end up treating them. This fear is aggravated when one is also differently-abled. And this, Mads said, is sad because “it becomes a pitfall, a limitation for people to reach their full potential.”
Photo courtesy of Chesca Madeline Cadiao

Mads considers herself luckier than others. 

A native of Oton, Iloilo, she finished Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of San Agustin, Iloilo. She eventually pursued her Masters of Arts in Public Administration from the same university. 

Mads also always had the support of family and friends, with “my mom as the first person to accept me. She was proud of me despite me being ‘physically challenged’. She was proud of my achievements. She encouraged me during my elementary days, especially when I was being bullied.”

But Mads knows that a lot of LGBTQIA people are afraid to even come out because of how society may end up treating them. This fear is aggravated when one is also differently-abled. And this, Mads said, is sad because “it becomes a pitfall, a limitation for people to reach their full potential.”

She believes the LGBTQIA community itself can help here by “truly empowering the powerless (within our ranks). It is very important to show acceptance from within (the LGBTQIA family) so that the bigger society will also embrace people’s differences.”

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Born with restricted growth (otherwise known as dwarfism), Mads believes that much needs to be done for the inclusion of persons with disability (PWD) in LGBTQIA discourses.
Photo courtesy of Chesca Madeline Cadiao

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