US hotel chain taps Pinay transgender for ad campaign

By Rommel Conclara, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau

Posted at Jul 01 2014 02:12 PM | Updated as of Jul 01 2014 10:22 PM

SAN FRANCISCO – Thousands of people gathered at Market Street every year to watch the rainbow-colored floats and festive people at the Gay Pride parade.

This year, Filipina fashion model and outspoken transgender rights advocate Geena Rocero has a float of her own.

She represents the Marriott’s new LGBT-friendly ad campaign called “#LoveTravels” while promoting her own transgender campaign called “Gender Proud”.

"With my advocacy work, specifically advocating for gender recognition law that would allow transgender people and gender variant people to change name and gender marker on legal documents, this is a great component to know that a business entity, a public company like Marriott is taking such a huge initiative like this. It says a lot," she said.

Rocero’s Marriott ads are featured on billboards and print media across the country, as well as in an online portrait gallery.

"When I think about a young trans woman or trans man, a transgender, gender non-conforming person looking at this image of me being on billboards, being at the San Francisco Pride, being on the float, something would resonate," said Rocero. "That ability to feel that it is possible to be who you are, to fully express who you are – there’s no price in that".

Fresh from attending the first White House Global Forum on LGBT Human Rights hosted by Vice President Joe Biden, Rocero was the headlining speaker at the Trans March at Dolores Park on Friday afternoon.

"That was so historic,' said Rocero. "That’s one of the most grassroots organizations that’s been doing a lot of work specifically for the transgender community. So to be invited, to be the headlining speaker of that event was such an honor to do. It was an amazing crowd. There were thousands of people."

While she advocates for transgenders everywhere, she shares a special message for her fellow kababayans.

"As long as you're living your truth, you can’t go wrong," said Rocero. "Keep pursuing the truth."