Geena Rocero’s story begins in Manila, where she grew up poor but among a loving and supportive family. She began competing in beauty pageants at fifteen and immigrated to the United States at seventeen. When she was twenty-one, she was discovered by a fashion photographer at a New York restaurant on the Lower East Side. For the next twelve years, she built a successful career as a fashion model. She decided to “come out” during a 2014 TED talk to bring more visibility to the transgender community.