Apr 03, 2014 2:25PM

Transgender Model Gives Eloquent TED Talk On Gender Fluidity

Gender is fluid, complex and mysterious.
Philippines born swimsuit model Geena Rocero was assigned a male gender at birth - a fact she reveals in her recent TED Talk titled 'Why I Must Come Out'. Broadly speaking, Rocero's speech concerns the power of a person's self identification over gender assignment based on the type of genitals they happen to be packing. Gender, she says, is 'fluid, complex and mysterious' and not merely a fixed fact.
Rocero underwent gender reassignment surgery at age 19 after a lifetime identifying as female and describes the consolidation of her psychological self-identity to gaining official status as Female as 'a license to live'.
She gave the talk on 31 March the International Transgender Day of Visibility, revealing that some of her friends, colleagues and her agent don't know 'about my history'. Rocero's 'reveal' will likely be one that yields support from her industry.
The fashion community has been a pioneer in shifting traditional gender paradigms and promoting inclusiveness across the LGBTQI spectrum - from Playboy's collaboration with Caroline 'Tula' Cossey in the 80s, to Givenchy muse Lea T, spectacular French model Ines Rau (who appears in the upcoming issue of Oyster), and the all-trans casting by luxury retail giant Barneys New York for its Spring 2014 campaign.