In time for Valentine’s Day, the Transpinay of Antipolo Organization (TAO) has announced that it is slated to sponsor the annual beauty pageant of gay and transgender inmates of the Antipolo City Jail on February 14.
TAO is an Antipolo-based group established in 2006 by five transpinays – Kristine Madrigal, Alexis Garcia, Em Bayubay, Jersey Paceno and Shane Marie Madrigal – to help push for gender equality in the Philippines. While largely composed of transpinays, as well as other members of the lesbian, gay and bisexual community, TAO is actually open to all persons regardless of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, race, ethnicity or religious affiliations, as long as they believe in the TAO advocacy and are willing to support the organization.
Last December 2013, TAO conducted a gift-giving activity at the Antipolo City Jail, and “they specifically requested that we support their future endeavors (like this pageant),” said Shane Marie Madrigal, president of TAO. “We are giving (in to the) request. We would like to make them happy in our own little way, and make them feel that they are not alone. Hopefully, we impart to them (the knowledge) that when they leave jail, they have friends they can call.”
Madrigal added that for them, “this is a relevant step to stress that LGBT inmates are still part of our community, and of the society.”
Aside from sponsoring the pageant, TAO will also provide materials to beautify some of the cells of Antipolo City Jail by providing wall paint, among others.