PINOYFTM AND ASSOCIATION OF TRANSGENDER MEN OF THE PHILIPPINES
Filipino transgender and transsexual men (trans men) have suffered long enough from the lack of proper representation in the country. In response to this, PinoyFTM (PFTM) and the Association of Transgender Men of the Philippines (ATMP) have decided to enlist each other’s support in working for the betterment of the lives of the Filipino trans men community. The Association of Transgender Men of The Philippines stand united with PinoyFTM, in the advocacy for equal transgender rights in the Philippines.
The first Conference for Transgender Men was held last June 14 at Mandaluyong City. The goals of the conference were to break barriers long held between two groups, set aside differences and create a long term agenda of peace and mutual cooperation between the PFTM and ATMP. This is a milestone for the transgender rights movement in the Philippines.
We now look forward to a better future, with PFTM and ATMP, working together to protect and promote transgender rights.
On behalf of PinoyFTM and Association of Transgender Men of the Philippines, we, Mr. Nick Fernandez of PFTM and Mr. Nil Nodalo of ATMP, agree to work together as two separate and functioning organizations of transgender and transsexual men advocating for the advancement of the transgender rights movement in the Philippines.
Here is to a brighter future for the Filipino transgender and transsexual men!
Nick Fernandez, Chairperson –
We at PinoyFTM are greatly saddened by the way the Bandila Team had chosen to handle the stories of our three members for their segment on Trans Men.
While we have detailed a more thorough recap of our interaction with the Bandila team here (http://pinoyftm.tumblr.com/post/88159391044/), detailed below are the specific grievances we have with the way the interview was aired:
1. The change in direction from what was originally discussed
—-1a. Changing the focus from being PinoyFTM as an organization, our struggles and our goals to being predominantly about physical transition.
—-1b. Adding commentary from a religious figure, despite the assurance that there would be no religious angle.
—-1c. The focus on Pansexuality (which was not discussed) without properly differentiating it from transgenderism.
2. The misrepresentation of the respondents and their stories through using parts of the interview out of context.
—-2a. Including only testimony about the realities of medical transition in the past, giving the impression that self-medication is encouraged among trans men.
—-2b. Selective editing of the interview to create more drama rather than include the whole story as given by the interviewees.
3. The lack of respect shown towards our respondents and trans men in general by the lack of acknowledging their gender identity.
—-3a. The constant use of ‘Babaeng gusto maging lalaki’ by the hosts and voice over.
—-3b. The undignified portrayal of trans bodies through the sexualized use and censoring of the topless body of one of the respondents.
4. The inclusion of less than qualified or biased professionals as resource persons.
—-4a. Once again, the inclusion of Archbishop Oscar Cruz despite the assurance there would be no religious angle.
—-4b. The selection of a doctor specializing in Obstetrics & Gynecology/Fertility who named breast cancer as and almost certain effect of taking testosterone.
—-4c. Dr. Bernadette Arcena’s interchanging of Transgenderism and Dysphoria by referring to transgenderism as a sickness (sakit).
We would like Bandila to issue an apology and retraction of the episode for the above complaints, not only for the sake of the interviewees, but also to all the members of PinoyFTM as well as trans men all over the Philippines for this irresponsible portrayal of trans men in our country.
We hope that in the future, Bandila, and subsequently all other media practitioners will show more understanding and sensitivity towards Transgender issues with your materials, and be more responsible to prevent such a thing from happening in the future.
Should you ever feel that you would need more understanding of transgender people and the issues they face, specifically with trans men, we at PinoyFTM are always more than happy to share our knowledge and resources for the betterment of all.
To all trans men and members of the transgender community who has watched the episodes, we would also like to sincerely apologize to you for being unable to prevent such a damaging portrayal from being aired. In this respect, we have failed you and we are sorry for that.
Thank You, and we hope you continue being valuable allies in our fight against transphobia.
As the oldest FTM group in the Philippines, PinoyFTM is no stranger to receiving requests for interviews or to appear as resource speakers to tackle the topic of female-to-male transgenderism. As education is one of the core focuses and values of our organization, we welcome and appreciate all such invitations. We have, however, on multiple occasions, turned down invitations we believe are not in the best interest of the goals we are fighting for. And more often than not, these rejections are for shows or people who appear to want to sensationalize our story or do not act in a professional manner by wanting to do everything in a rush.
Chest Reconstruction surgery usually ranges from PHP100k-200k. The larger your breasts, the more expensive.
Many of our members have preferred the services of the McGill Clinic for their sensitivity towards trans patients.
Hi Mateo! While you can find testosterone in a lot of major drug stores, you’ll need a prescription to be able to get them.
We at PinoyFTM also encourage safe transitioning and would strongly recommend you seek professional medical advice and assistance when it comes to hormone replacement therapy. :)
Hello Anon! You can go to our facebook page and click the join us button. :)
This is a very complex issue here in the Philippines as it does vary depending on the company and depending on your location as well.
Certain cities as well as companies do have ordinances or rules set in place that not only prevent the discrimination of LGBT people, but also mandate employers to respect the gender expression of their employees by allowing them to wear clothes of their correct gender identity.
However, these cities and companies are in a minority, and the companies that do this are usually multinational BPOs (which contributes to the large number of trans people working for BPOs). Other companies are not as helpful.
More liberal/less traditional companies are also easier on your transition, as they allow more freedom with self expression in general.
But for a majority of more conservative companies, especially those what are service oriented or client oriented, they are less accommodating and will not be as open to accepting your identity, especially if you do not yet conform to the societal standard of what a man looks like.
Last year, we had changed our email address and the tumblr account had not been updated so alerts were unable to be carried over.
We will be posting responses to your messages shortly.
November 20 is Transgender Day of Remembrance. I chose to not only remember those who have passed but also my old self. Here is my letter to my 17 year old self.
November 20, 2013
Dear 17 year old self,
You have been through a lot and life has not been kind. Yet, somehow, you managed to pull yourself together despite everything coming your way. Exactly how you did it, I can never explain.
There were times when you felt like giving up because you could not find a proper binder and all you had were ace bandages. There were times when you felt like you were alone because no one understood what transsexual actually meant. There were times when you felt desperate because your parents took away the only binder you had. There were times when you felt angry because you had to present yourself in a way you do not agree with. There were times when you felt sad because your family sent you away for being “this”. There were times when you felt depressed just because you were here, alive yet struggling.
Do you remember?
Four years from now, you probably won’t remember anything at all. Why? You will have so much more on your plate right now than what you had before starting your transition. I am telling you now; it’s not going to be easy. It never will be. It might get better in the long run but it will never be easy.
There will come a time wherein you’ll be on the borderline of passing and not passing. People will surely do a double take and ask, “Are you a man or a woman cause I can’t tell”. You’re going to get offended but you’re going to want to correct them politely. A polite and respectful correction a day keeps the ignorance away.
There will come a time wherein you’ll have to come out in one way or another; especially when your legal documents say otherwise. Not all professors, employers, clients, friends, acquaintances, family members, and the rest of the world will be accepting and understanding of your situation. You have to toughen up and be proud of who you are.
There will come a time wherein you’ll wake up realizing this is all too much to take in. You might realize that you can’t go on forever breaking ampoules and injecting Testosterone twice a month. You might realize you can’t go on wearing a binder every single day until your surgery funds are complete. You might realize you can’t go on forever having your levels checked every 3 months or so. You might realize you can get tired of explaining why your legal documents implicate you are not what you say you are. You might realize you wanted to father your own child eight years from now. You might just give up.
Don’t. Don’t give up.
Just breathe in and breathe out. You knew from the start that this is a lifetime commitment. No one and nothing else put you in this predicament except yourself. You took the risk and you have to step up to it. Life is short but it gives us the opportunity to better ourselves or do worse than we already did before. Whether you pick A or B, it will be your choice. It should be your choice and no one else’s.
You have gone this far, my little buddy. There’s no quitting now.
But in your quiet moments, remember those who have fallen. In your quiet moments, remember those who have succumbed to life’s pressures. Every year on this day, remember them and live for them as I continue to live your life, our lives, every waking moment of this lifetime.
With all my love,
Your 21 year old self
Hi there! This is a very broad question. Maybe you could specify in what respect you mean? If you have too many questions to ask, or feel like it would help you learn more than just getting a single answer, you’re always welcome to join our support group.
Just hop on over to our Facebook and submit an application. :)
We’re really sorry to hear that. It’s always painful when parents or othe rloved ones cannot accept us for who we are and even punish us for choosing to do what it takes to be happy in our own skin.
I can’t persume to know what it feels like, nor can I pretend to assure you things will without a doubt get better between you and your mother over time, as I am not familiar with your situation. But I will tell you that there is a chance. There’s always a chance things will change for the better, but until that happens, it’s a matter of hoping for the best but expecting the worst.
While obviously, it’s not quite the same, you’re always welcome without the filipino trans community. We can’t give you back what your mom took away from you, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get more in touch with your heritage through other means.
We wish you the best and want you to know our doors (or ask box) are always open, to trans men, Filipino and non-Filipino alike.
For any of our Filipino followers or anyone interested in learning about transgenderism from a Filipino perspective, we’ll be having a twitter discussion moderated by Rappler’s Shakira Sision & Pinoy G4M (no relation to us).
Trans participants will primarily be members of PinoyFTM and Ms. Bemz Benedito, but expect other Filipino trans preople to participate.
Thursday, 9PM Philippine Standard Time onwards. Use the hashtag #TransQA
See you there!
Hi there, yes there are Filipinos undergoing HRT and even those who have had top surgery! There are a lot of us, in fact! Though it’s only natural you haven’t heard of anyone here transitioning as it’s only fairly recently that we’ve started organizing and most of us have not met any other trans men in the country before the groups started up.
Unfortunately, as we have no gender recognition laws, we cannot do anything about our documents. If we were to try and change our names, we would have to go through the same process as cis people would and try to make a case for the NSO to allow a name change which is very difficult and expensive.
Feel free to browse our page here on tumblr and on facebook to learn more about Filipino FTMs and the over all situation of trans men here in the Philippines! :)
Wala po. Ang mga binder na binder talaga ay nabibili lamang sa mga specialty stores at online o baka sa mga LGBT sellers na nagsstock. Pero may mga sports bra sa malls at mga girdles rin na pwede mong gamitin bilang binder, hindi lang sila ganun ka effective.
Translation: Can you buy binders at malls?
No, actual binders may only be bought in specialty stores online or maybe LGBT themed sellers who stock those (At least in this country). You can however, temporarily use sports bras as substitutes. They won’t be nearly as effective tho.