Frank Pasilan, a transgender woman, has overcome many adversities in her life beginning in her early childhood.
“I already knew I was different at an early age because of how I constantly felt – I was trapped. At 7 years old, I already knew that I do not identify myself with my biological body; I was born a boy but I found joy in expressing myself through traditionally feminine activities. In my childhood, my most treasured toy was a doll, and I frequently played “Chinese Garter” and “Babbles” with my female friends. My childhood crush was a boy. I was sure of my feelings even back then when being gay in our community was met with hostility.”
“Despite the possible judgment, I continued to enjoy expressing my true self while growing up – at 10 years old, I began joining pageants in school, where I felt the most freedom, as I was able to express my personality and showcase my creativity. People were more accepting during my childhood because they assumed that my femininity was simply a phase. However, as I grew older and moved through society while expressing the same femininity, I was met with discrimination and disrespect.”
“The cruelty I faced because of my gender identity drove me to persist and perform well academically because I felt the need to prove to myself that I can be productive and contribute meaningfully to my community and country.”
“I was in my final semester of college when I was introduced to NOLITC. I already found managing my hectic schedule to be a challenge, so I initially did not consider taking part in the training. When a number of my classmates joined and prospered, I realized that the added skills I could gain from the training could improve my chances of finding employment.”
“Being aware of the struggles of my parents, who are my main support system, I decided to join NOLITC’s Contact Center Services NC II Training to aid in providing for their needs.
“Signing up for the training turned out to be the right decision for me, despite my initial hesitation. I not only learned a lot but I also found myself enjoying the training sessions because of the enthusiasm of my NOLITC mentors. It is in NOLITC that I gained acceptance as an LGBT. What I like most in NOLITC is that the learning environment is non-discriminating and gender equality is practiced and LGBTQ+ are allowed to become better versions of themselves.
“After the training, we celebrated our Commencement Exercises and we were endorsed to various BPO companies. I found the prospect of employment – of being able to finally provide for myself and offer financial help to my parents, to be both exciting and nerve-wracking.
“I was hired by Telequest Voice Services, which was my first call center job. I learned a lot and gained so much experience in the year and a half that I worked with them. Currently, I am employed by Soundbox Networks Ltd., and I have been with the company for almost 2 years.”
“I grew to be financially independent through the opportunities I have gained access to because of my NOLITC Training. The skills I learned also boosted my self confidence and allowed me to be more comfortable in affirming that being transgender does not make me any less of a person. I am now more comfortable in admitting that I have fallen in love with a man and that feeling inspires me every day. There is still a fear of rejection, which is why I am still guarded when it comes to pursuing a more serious relationship, but I have realized that there is a need to take risks, to learn and to grow as a person. Being gay is not a sin, it is a blessing, and it is something that I am thankful for every single day.”
“The journey towards self-acceptance and pride in my gender identity required a lot of internal work and effort, and it was made more challenging by the constant stream of discrimination I have had to face along the way. However, the support and acceptance that I have received from my family and mentors helped me remain steadfast in staying true to myself.”