Vins Santiago was one of the country’s first transsexuals until he met his Creator and found real transformation in Him.
The LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer) issue has been a hot-button topic among Christians, more so now with the legalization of same-sex marriage in the United States. There are various stances and judgement calls from the church, and a lot of hurt and anger has been stirred up.
But this is not what Vins’s Santiago’s book, TransFormed: Mula sa Pagiging Transwoman, is all about.
Written in Taglish, this is the true life story of a bullied little boy Benny who grew up to become the beautiful transsexual woman Vina and eventually became Vins, a man of God. Vins’s account is raw, honest, at times tragic, and finally filled with hope. It is a story of a person who tried everything to fill an emptiness inside him, only to find that he couldn’t, until he met the One who knew him and loved him all the same. But even as he had found salvation, healing and transformation still took time, with a lot of stops and starts, forgiveness to be found and given to others.
I am so honored and blessed to be invited on Vins Santiago’s formal book launch held last September 17, 2016 during the 37th Manila International Book Fair at the SMX Convention Center.
We were also privileged to have a short interview with him and I like what he said when asked about the issues concerning the LGBT community. He said (not his exact words), “What’s the difference of their sin to your sin?”, his statement left me dumbfounded. The reality is, it’s so easy to look at other people’s fault and make a quick judgement about them without even looking at the speck in our own eye. What he said is a good reminder for me not to judge and cast the first stone because I, too, am a sinner in need of a Savior (Romans 3:23).
With all the noise surrounding the LGBTQ issue these days, TransFormed passes no judgements, rather it sheds a light on the story of one gay and transsexual Filipino, who, like all of us, is looking for the true love, healing, and salvation that can be found in Christ.
Here’s a message from Vins to all the readers out there:
Vins Santiago’s life story was featured in Maalaala Mo Kaya in 2003, starring Fanny Serrano. He now serves as a pastor at Bagong Ilog Christian Fellowship. He is also a spiritual counselor at the Back to the Bible Counseling Center, as well as a spiritual counselor and co-host for Family Matters, a radio show on 702 DZAS every Wednesday morning. A minister for the Body of
Christ, Pastor Vins is also a discipleship leader for people with gender issues at the Christ Commission Fellowship. He may be reached at [email protected] and his Facebook fanpage at facebook.com/santiagovins.
|TransFormed: Mula sa Pagiging Transwoman by Vins Santiago will be available at OMF Lit bookshops, Passages bookshops, PCBS, National Book Store and other leading bookstores nationwide for P295. For more information please call OMF Lit Bookshop at +63(2)531 43 03 local 411 or email [email protected]
Part of the income from this book will be donated to HIV patients in the Philippines who have been abandoned by their families.
Meeting a very authentic person like Vins was such a blessing. I’m moved by his life testimony and seeing him living a transformed life. It makes me stand in awe of our Creator. Truly, nothing is impossible to Him!
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” ~ 2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV