Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

People You Should Know

Joshen Manuel: Becoming an advocate

Joshen Manuel never thought of becoming an LGBT advocate, wanting only to transition (from female to male). But when he encountered discriminatory practices, he saw the need to help push for the rights of transgenders in the Philippines. He eventually helped establish TransMan Pilipinas.

Joshen Manuel believes that the Philippines continues to hold outdated stereotypes on LGBTs. As such, “there is a need for more promulgation about equality (for and) from the LGBT community,” he said.

“I never thought of becoming an LGBT advocate,” admitted Joshen Manuel, adding that “I only wanted (to) transition (female to male).”

But then, when he was about to reach his first year in Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), “I experienced embarrassing situations,” Joshen recalled. For instance, he was held at the immigration counter “just (for them) to verify my identity.” He also heard of “discrimination stories from my colleagues.” It was then that “I realized that I have to do something about this.”

In August 2012, Joshen helped (with Nil Nodalo, Deiniel Cayosa, Ira Nunez, Prince Eagle, Jack Aquino, Red Tomines and Brent Argote) in the formation of TransMan Pilipinas (TMP), which offers support to other transmen in the Philippines, and educate the society at large about the transgender community.

Joshen is now a member of the board of directors of TMP.

“I believe that my part could at least contribute in minimizing those difficult situations (that I encountered),” he said.

Joshen believes that the Philippines continues to hold outdated stereotypes about LGBTs. As such, “there is a need for more promulgation about equality (for and) from the LGBT community,” he said. Specifically for a transgender like him, he wants some focus placed on the legal recognition of the transgender identity through the “legality of our documents, such as in changing our of name and changing of gender marker to avoid confusions and wrong judgment from the public.”

It is TMP that inspires Joshen. “Especially our motto: ‘TRANSMIT LOVE. TRANSCEND ACCEPTANCE. HATE NO MORE.’ It encourages me to continue serving the members in the best way that I could.”

Joshen may have been “just hiding in the closet, afraid of rejection from others,” as he said it, “but as years passed, I was… accepted especially by my family and friends (as) I showed them that being a transgender is not a hindrance to achieve (the) stable life (I have) right now. I really believe that perseverance is key to success, and this is one… that I am sharing with our members. I always tell them that someday they could all surpass the hardships they are facing right now.”

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.
Advertisement
Advertisement

Like Us On Facebook

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

Health & Wellness

Socially transitioned transgender youth (or those who openly identify and live as a gender different from their sex assignment at birth) show "normative or...

NEWSMAKERS

A growing number of young people are identifying as part of the LGBTQ+ community, and many are challenging binaries in gender and sexual identity...

#KaraniwangLGBT

Meet Leigh F. Capule, a project manager at HSBC, who helped found HSBC Pride + Ally Network in GSC Philippines. "I truly believe that...

NEWSMAKERS

In a statement approved by Pope Francis, the Vatican referred to homosexuality as a "choice", suggested it is sinful and said it "cannot be...

Advertisement