Philippines LGBT rights group GANDA Filipinas joined women across the world for the One Billion Rising (OBR) in the largest gathering of mass action to stop violence against women and girls in history last week. Among the women present in the Southeast Asian country were a large number of transgender women.
Transgender women around the world have been subject to violence and vulnerability as a group that often falls through the gaps of human rights protection.
GANDA Filipinas is an organization founded on what they call “Transactivism,” which focuses on gender issues and seeks specifically to develop a distinct transgender awareness.
GANDA Filipinas, founder Naomi Fontanos told 429 Magazine that they joined OBR “in solidarity with women including transgender women the world over who continue to experience gender-based violence and abuse.”
She continued to say that “we recognize human rights work as highly intersectional.”
Asked if GANDA Filipinas had experienced any such violence, Fontanos affirmed that this does occur.
“Many Filipino transgender women experience some form of violence in their lives,” she said, then relating a story of violence against a transgender woman.
“Just a month ago, a transwoman in Manila, Nathalia Anne Gonzales, was murdered by her own boyfriend. What made it worse was the mainstream media’s coverage of her death, which not only misgendered her but also dismissed her gender identity and trans status. She was reported as a ‘homosexual or a ‘gay man’,” said Fontanos.
According to the Transgender Remembrance Statistic, transgender people have been killed at a rate of one per month over the last decade due to transphobic hate crimes.
Eve Ensler, the founder of OBR has said:
“We are rising together because it is in our connectedness, in our stomping feet and uncontrollable hips that the path and energy will be created to bring in a new world. We will galvanize the will and the passion of everyone rising around the world to create change.”