Geena’s story begins in Manila, where she grew up poor but amongst a loving and supportive family. She began competing in beauty pageants at 15, and immigrated to the States at 17. At a New York restaurant on the lower east side at 21, she was discovered by a fashion photographer. For the next 12 years, she built a successful career as a fashion model. She decided to ‘come out’ at TED to bring more visibility to the transgender community.