Saturday, May 30, 2009


“Words,” as George Bernard Shaw said, “are only postage stamps delivering the object for you to unwrap.” There are words that lead us to better understand a concept, a phenomenon, an experience, a person. Some promote either clarity or confusion. Others have offensive connotations; their negligent use unwittingly supports disrespect or disregard of someone’s deep-seated truths…

The Society of Transsexual Women of the Philippines (STRAP) is standing up not with pride but with courage to name an identity for ourselves. An identity that closely, if not fully and ultimately, describes the unique expression of human diversity our lives embody. An identity that rings politeness. An identity that would initiate an enlightening public conversation and awareness about our realities. An identity that we hope can forge a sense of community among Filipinas who were assigned as male at birth. An identity with dignity. This identity is TRANSPINAY.

A combination of the words transsexual and Pinay, TRANSPINAY means a female human being of Philippine descent who was given a male sex assignment at birth. This was proposed during one of our support group meetings and was voted upon by our membership. Other proposed terms were transbabae and transfilipina.

As compared to local terms such as bakla and bayot, transpinay doesn’t include homosexual males. Transpinay isn’t about sexual orientation nor preference. A transpinay can be sexually/romantically attracted to other females (in that she is a lesbian), to males (in that she is straight), to both males and females (in that she is a bisexual), or to none at all (in that she is asexual).

As compared to the nascent term ladyboy, transpinay doesn’t maliciously or unwittingly call a girl/woman of transsexual experience a “boy/man”. Calling a transpinay a ladyboy is no different from simply calling her a “boy/man”, an offensive act.

A transpinay is not a homosexual/gay man nor a boy/man who is ladylike. A transpinay is not a crossdresser - she is not a boy/man who just likes to dress. A transpinay is not a variation of male but a variation of female. A transpinay may be pre-op (have not yet have sex reassignment surgery but desires to undergo it), post-op (have already had sex reassignment surgery), or non-op (does not desire to have sex reassignment surgery). All the same, no matter what their genital surgery status is, they are all females. A transpinay is not a boy/man wanting to be a “real” girl/woman - she is already one.

We acknowledge that TRANSPINAY, just like any other word, cannot adequately stand-in for what we actually are. Nonetheless, TRANSPINAY symbolizes our right to define our gender identity: A movement to reclaim that right from other cultural forces.

Our deepest gratitude,
The Society of Transsexual Women of the Philippines (STRAP)

*~obviously, this is a repost. i felt this blog should have this, its owner being a part of what sass aptly describes as the experience. i am a transpinay and proud of it.

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