Geena grew up competing in beauty pageants in Manila, and ever since moving to the United States and being discovered in New York City when she was twenty-one, she has dominated the fashion world and built an incredibly successful career as a model, writer, director, and transgender advocate.
Among her most iconic moments, Geena’s 2014 TED talk in honor of International Transgender Day of Visibility was revolutionary. Prior to the talk, Geena was used to being in the spotlight; but this was the first time she publicly came out as transgender. Before the event, she expressed that “What I’m about to do will change my life.” Over the several years that Geena built her modeling career, she kept her transgender identity a secret out of fear. “I never had the courage to share my story, not because I thought what I am is wrong, but because of how the world treats those of us who wish to break free.”
“I want to do my best to help others live their truth without shame and terror.” With several million views to date, Geena’s TED talk and advocacy have undeniably helped spread awareness and raise visibility for the transgender community. On the global TED stage, Geena proclaimed: “Today, this very moment, is my real coming out. I could no longer live my truth for and by myself. I want to do my best to help others live their truth without shame and terror. I am here, exposed, so that one day, there will never be a need for a November 20th Vigil” (Transgender Day of Remembrance).
Her many accomplishments include being the first trans woman ambassador for Miss Universe Nepal, the first trans Asian Playboy Playmate, and the first trans woman to be named a Playboy Playmate of the Year. Additionally, Geena is the founder of Gender Proud, a media production company that tells stories of the transgender and gender non-conforming community worldwide to elevate justice and equality. She has also spoken at the White House, a number of Fortune 500 Companies, the United Nations, and more.
She recently directed and executive produced Caretakers on PBS, a series that examined poverty, opportunity, and justice through the lives of Filipino Americans. Upon watching the series, it’s no surprise that she received four Emmy nominations for her directorial debut. Geena continues to strive for greatness and is in the process of writing her debut memoir.
“From my speeches at The White House to the United Nations, Todd has always been a great friend and cheerleader,” she said, highlighting her long-time friendship with Out Leadership Founder and CEO, Todd Sears. In addition to their visits to the White House, Geena and Todd’s friendship has flourished at the UN, in London, and of course, on Fire Island.
An #OutLEADER through and through, Geena Rocero continues to amaze us. We are so grateful for all of the work she has done – and we know the best is yet to come, including her brand new memoir!
Coming May 30, 2023:
A radiant and heartfelt memoir from Geena Rocero, an icon who sits at the center of transgender history and activism, and a celebratory and universal story of survival, love, and pure joy.