‘Dream the impossible dream’: Transwoman proves that success has no gender


This 25-year-old transwoman from Quezon City yet again raised the flag of the LGBTQIA+ community!

After making history as the first transwoman batch valedictorian of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines in 2018, Ianne Gamboa successfully passed the 2023 Bar examinations.

“In PUP po, I’ve never felt discriminated. ‘Yung PUP po really helped me to really know myself at its authentic and genuine level,” Gamboa told The Philippine STAR.

“Right after my graduation, I started applying for jobs. Unfortunately, I always got rejected and it humbled me kasi although I have these academic achievements, I still got rejections,” she added.

After graduating, she decided to apply at different government offices. She was even rejected from her dream job but eventually, she got accepted but only as a contractual employee.

“In 2019, after all those rejections I finally decided to enter law school.  It is my father who first told me na ‘Bakit hindi ka mag-enroll sa law school? Sayang naman ‘yung academic achievements mo kasi parang you love studying.’ I easily brushed aside the idea nung pag-graduate ko kasi for me, gusto ko nang mag-work, gusto ko na magkaron ng sarili kong career. And I don’t want to financially burden my family,” she recalled.

While working, Gamboa decided to enroll at the José Rizal University school of law. She then gave a glimpse of her life while studying law.

“Sa law school po wala rin naman po akong naramdaman na discrimination. I’ve experienced po is misgendering na very important din po.  Nung first day ko sa law school, si Atty. Niduaza.  Tinanong niya po agad ako ng ‘How do you want me to address you?’ Kasi nakita niya po ‘yung name ko tas nakita niya na I was wearing skirt, ganyan, mahaba ‘yung hair ko,” she shared.

“Sabi ko I prefer to be addressed as Miss. Miss Gamboa, her, lagi po niyang ginagamit. Para sa ibang tao siguro, normal lang ‘yun, hindi siya ganun ka big deal. Pero para sa isang katulad ko na transwoman, ‘yung isang lawyer na director sa Office of the Ombudsman para tanungin ako ng ganun, parang it’s a big deal for me,” she said.

Looking back on that specific core memory, she adds “I felt like ‘Ay, welcome ako.’ Whenever those people would hurt me, lagi lang akong naglo-look back [kay] Atty. Niduaza, na she made me feel na I belong in law school and I also [am] welcomed in the legal profession.”

Gamboa said that during her law school days, she had to sacrifice a lot of things including family reunions and gatherings. That is why she promised to do her best in the Bar exams.

“Sobrang hirap po ng law school as in, parang hindi ko ma-imagine ‘yung pinagdaanan ko na Feel ko talaga parang I put my life on hold since 2019. Ang nasa isip ko po nun, it’s all or nothing. Parang ibibigay ko na lahat para after I took the Bar. I studied 12 hours a day. I did not go out. I sacrificed a lot. I sacrificed my social life, I deactivated all of my social media accounts para lang po makapag-focus ako sa Bar review,” she noted.

Recalling the day of the release, Gamboa said that she was very happy to be one of the 3,992 Bar passers this year.

She hopes to be an inspiration to the LGBTQIA+ community that gender will never be a hindrance in achieving their dreams.

She stressed, “I will use that platform for the younger generation of trans community to look at me na ako kaya kong maging lawyer. So, kayo kaya n’yo din  i-achieve ‘yung dream n’yo. Dream the impossible dream. Diba libre lang mangarap, dapat taasan mo na.”

“Believe in yourself na kaya n’yong i-achieve ‘yung dreams n’yo na do not believe what the society tells you because the society tells us na if you are a trans parang hanggang dito ka lang,” Gamboa added.

Janelle Lorzano
Janelle Lorzano
Janelle Lorzano likes long walks on the seaside and listening to people about their lives. When she isn't writing, she travels and discover new places.