Transgender New York fashion model Geena Rocero promoted a new biography on CBS Mornings Tuesday, crediting the Catholic Church for playing a role in the journey.
Rocero, a model, director and activist, immigrated from the Philippines in 2001 and came out as transgender in 2014 during a TED Talk. Rocero appeared on CBS Mornings Tuesday to promote “Horse Barbie,” an autobiography of Rocero’s life, which details how the model and former pageant queen began identifying as transgender.
CBS host Tony Dokoupil opened the segment by discussing Rocero’s background and the memoir.
“We have so much to talk to you about, including the title of the book ‘Horse Barbie,’ that’s an unusual one,” Dokoupil said. “There’s so many lines in the book I love like “I learned to be trans in the Catholic Church.”
Rocero said that growing up in the Philippines, there was a cultural acceptance of transgender individuals, and thanked her “devout Catholic” mother for supporting Rocero’s transition.
“You know, I couldn’t ask for a better parent, my mom, who loves me, ” Rocero said. “This is a devout Catholic woman, who loves her trans daughter.”
For nine years, @GeenaRocero kept her transgender identity a secret as she rose to the top of the NYC modeling world, before coming out publicly in a TED Talk.
Now, she’s sharing her story in a new memoir: “My sense of purpose was so much bigger than my fear.” pic.twitter.com/YE10BBut0r
— CBS Mornings (@CBSMornings) May 30, 2023
In the book, Rocero describes being a hand interpreter for the church choir as a young teen and says that during one of the services, being trans and being Catholic made sense, according to Vanity Fair.
“I am a child, I am Catholic, and I am femme,” Rocero wrote.
Rocero’s memoir is named after an epithet that other pageant competitors used to criticize Rocero’s “statuesque physique, tumbling hair, long neck, and dark skin.”
“A year later, Geena moved to the United States where she could change her name and gender marker on her documents,” the book’s summary reads. “In order to survive, Geena went stealth and hid her trans identity, gaining one type of freedom at the expense of another … She became an in-demand model. But as her star rose, her sense of self eroded. She craved acceptance as her authentic self yet had to remain vigilant in order to protect her dream career. The high-stakes double life finally forced Geena to decide herself if she wanted to reclaim the power of Horse Barbie once and for all: radiant, head held high, and unabashedly herself.”
Rocero’s agency did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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