Trans Global Philippines' Albiean Revalde on Breaking Barriers and Going Beyond

Apr 9, 2022 0 comments



Pageantry, alongside its display of beauty, elegance, and confidence, is also a platform for advocacy—another avenue to become the voice of many that have remained unheard of, if not silenced. It is another voice that can help materialize into change.


For Ms. Albiean Revalde, being Duchess Global in Miss Trans Global 2021 wasn’t just a personal victory, but a collective step toward trans visibility for Filipino trans people and other members of the SOGIESC community.


Read: 4 Shows to understand why the SOGIE bill is important


Starting out


Initially, Ms. Revalde had hesitations applying for the pageant—chief among them was the underlying pressures of becoming a contestant, on top of her responsibilities as an engineering student and student council leader in PUP.


However, after receiving massive support from her fellow PUP community, as well as seeing it as another way for her advocacies to be heard, she joined the pageant. Moreover, she also saw joining Miss Trans Global as an opportunity to obtain Gender-Affirming Hormone Therapy (or GAHT).


[It] is worth mentioning how I was struggling with my access to gender-affirming hormone therapy (GAHT) at the moment, and how Miss Trans Global Philippines has offered me access to such services along with the financial need to suffice my transition.



A revolutionary experience


Throughout her journey in Miss Trans Global, Ms. Revalde has faced challenges that made her question her place in the competition. With the lack of financial resources and believing that she was not fitting to the colonial and patriarchal standards of womanhood and beauty. But in spite of these barriers, Ms. Revalde knows that she is there to help break those barriers and that she is not alone in that pursuit. Her brand, #AlBeyond aims to further recognize the beauty of genuity instead of conformity. 


After participating in what is deemed as “the future of trans pageantry,” Ms. Revalde witnessed firsthand how progressive and empowering the pageant was, seeing it move away from the long-standing conventions on beauty and womanhood, as well as being surrounded by the fellow queens who were just as active in their activism as she was.


It has opened my eyes to a broader scope of our plight and beauty as a community, our wins and struggles, that is existent in various countries. To me, this visibility alone has communicated across the globe that in these countries we have existed before, we exist now, and we will continue to exist in the future, we are not going anywhere, we are going to win back our rights sooner or later, and it is just up to the global community to choose which part of this progressing society’s history they are going to side with.

Breaking barriers

Trans visibility is still not accepted let alone recognized by many Filipinos. Despite the continuous activism towards gender-inclusivity and the lobbying for policies that protect the SOGIESC community, Ms. Revalde recognizes that the problem lies much deeper and is the result of a decades long culture influenced by colonial, patriarchal, and even religious beliefs.

Our very existence sparks a sense of revolution. Our very visibility makes the people question the sense of morals, discrimination, and dogma created in this society such as, how can our existence be invalidated, excluded, and persecuted if we continue to persist all this time with our identities amidst all of those struggles, how we have existed long ago and even regarded in high societal roles?

From the inaccessibility of trans-specific healthcare, to the social systems that continually and wrongfully persecute them for their identities, Ms. Revalde representing the Filipino trans community is one step, if not leaps forward, in increasing the voice of the unseen and unheard—bridging more allies and spreading more awareness in understanding the plights experienced by the trans community and aims to cultivate a more SOGIESC-inclusive space and culture.

Ms. Revalde concedes that a cultural shift to become a more SOGIESC-inclusive space doesn’t happen overnight. However, she still recognizes the power of visibility and how empowering it can be for the trans community, and through active practice of our advoacies, can spark dialogue and reach into the broader masses.

For me, that understanding makes me consider how our simple visibility is already a huge effort contributing to our liberation. Our visibility may be simple for some, but it already subjects us to further discrimination and persecution so to be visible is to be vulnerable and courageous. I have embraced my vulnerability and mustered my courage to be in this position. As a trans woman, I have fought for my existence and I continue to fight for it every single day and that, to me, is already a genuine commitment we do for gender liberation. 

Future Plans

Aside from her active term as Miss Duchess Global as well as her academic and student leader responsibilities, Ms. Revalde also dreams of becoming an actor, artist, and model, to which she also wants to use those mediums to further represent the trans community.

Message to the youth

With the upcoming 2022 elections, Ms. Revalde urges the youth to be critical and to treat our candidates not as infallible idols but as potential leaders who can address the many social issues our countries face. 

We must be reminded that our leaders are not our messiahs and that true power lies in us, the people. Our fight towards a more inclusive, safer, and flourishing society continues beyond electoral politics until we come to a progress that its foundations no longer root to the suffering of our basic masses. 

━━ Written By  Juan Carlos Montenegro


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