Society of Transsexual Women of the Philippines
|Society of Transsexual Women of the Philippines (STRAP)|
The Society of Transsexual Women of the Philippines, is a women's group and the pioneer transgender human rights advocacy and support organization in Philippines. It was founded in December 2002 in response to the call for an organization that would address the issues, needs, and concerns of transpinays (transgender/transsexual Filipinas).
Since then, STRAP has undertaken a number of initiatives in pursuit of its goals of combating discrimination based on gender identity or expression and raising public awareness and compassionate understanding of transsexualism.
STRAP holds monthly support group meetings meant to educate and equip its members to become more effective and empowered advocates of gender justice and equality. It also organizes strategic panel discussions, lectures, fora and symposia on gender identity and human rights including its attendant legal, medical and political dimensions. The organization links with various government and non-government organizations, human rights and Transgender Lesbian Bisexual & Gay (TLBG) groups to ensure that transgender needs, issues, and concerns are properly understood, addressed and included in their diversity initiatives.
Apart from these, STRAP also campaigns for the right to define one’s gender identity and expression and has taken steps to ensure transgender visibility by holding activities and events that promote empowering images of transpinays.
While remaining non-political & non-partisan, STRAP has partnered and collaborated with Ang Ladlad Partylist, Foundation for Media Alternatives (FMA), Gay & Lesbian Activist Network for Gender Equality (GALANG), International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia (IDAHO), International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC), International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans & Intersex Association (ILGA), Isis International, Ketchup Magazine, Outrage Magazine, Rainbow Rights (R-Rights) Project, Inc., Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC), Task Force Pride (TFP) Philippines, The Library Foundation Sexual Health and Rights Educators’ (TLF SHARE) Collective, The Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Rights (RSFL), Transgender Asia Research, Trans Iceland, UP Babaylan, UP Diliman Center for Women Studies (CWS), UP Diliman Gender Office (UPDGO), WEDPRO Philippines and Women's Legal and Human Rights Bureau (WLB).
Societal vision: STRAP envisions a nurturing society that affirms, respects and upholds the dignity, the right to self-determination and good quality of life of all.
Organizational vision: STRAP is a transgender rights advocacy and support organization that encourages transpinays to empower themselves and to live a life that inspires.
In pursuit of its vision, STRAP aims to: 1. Fight all forms of discrimination based on gender identity and gender expression 2. Act as support, contact and information group for transgender girls and women 3. Educate Philippines society in specific and the world in general about transgender need, issues and concerns and campaign for the right to define one’s gender identity and expression 4. Establish working relationships with government agencies (GAs), non-government organizations (NGOs) and other women’s, human rights, and TLBG groups; and 5. Promote positive and empowering images of transpinays
STRAP was formed in December 2002 by a group of transgendered Filipinas in response to the need of an organization that would deal with the issues, concerns and needs of the transgender community in the Phillipines. It has been active for a year but then became dormant upon the realization that the scope of the group is very broad and their goals are unattainable, that's why, in May 2005, the group decided to restructure and re-launch Strap as “Society of Transsexual Women of the Philippines". This time, they decided to focus on the issue of transsexualism.
STRAP holds monthly support group meetings held every third Sunday of each month. It is involved in education campaigns in colleges and universities in the country though classroom presentation, fora and similar activities.
STRAP holds regular activities such as: International Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR), Participation in the annual Pride March, the International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia and a bi-annual General Assembly (GA) of members.
In 2010, STRAP launched the Sybil Awards as way to honor to honor individuals, organizations, establishments, activities, programs and other entities that, in their own way, combat intolerance based on sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI), uphold gender equality and promote the empowerment of sex and gender diverse people.
The Sybil Awards is named after one incarnation of the Great Mother, a goddess whose worship dates back to the Stone Age. Known by different names, she was called Sybil in various cultures. The Great Mother Sybil was venerated by transgender priestesses in pre-communal, matrilineal societies who are considered precursors of modern transgender identity.
STRAP made history by being the first SOGI activist organization in the Philippines to pay tribute to those who help further its cause of promoting transgender equality, empowerment, acceptance and dignity.
STRAP welcomes all transgender/transsexual girls and women who are living or working in the Philippines. STRAP does not charge any membership fee but potential members undergo a rigorous screening process.