Introducing: Sass Rogando Sasot

My name is Sass Rogando Sasot, a Filipina who has been based in The Netherlands since 2011. Being a docent in the History Department (since August 2018) is the latest chapter in my life’s adventure. Educated in the Philippines, Hong Kong, the United States, and the Netherlands, as a teacher, I hope to hone in my students the love for learning continuously, passion for knowledge, and thirst for widening one’s personal horizon.

I have an MA in International Relations at Leiden University and a BA Combined Major in World Politics & Global Justice, minor in International Development (magna cum laude) at Leiden University College. On top of that, I also have a BA Business Administration in Human Resource Management from the Open University of Hong Kong. Before my academic pursuits, I have dedicated a decade or so of my life in advocating for the advancement of transgender rights.

My broad and expanding research interests as a scholar include realist political philosophy, international relations theories & histories, philosophy of history, territoriality, conflict resolution, diplomacy and statecraft, UN Security Council, the South China Sea conflict, and transgender issues.

In December 2000, I embarked on a mission to fight for transgender rights in my country. In 2002, I co-founded the pioneer transgender rights organization in the Philippines, the Society of Transsexual Women of the Philippines (STRAP). The summit of my advocacy is my speech at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on 9 December 2009. Because of that speech, the World Professional Association for Transgender Health awarded me the 2014 Harry Benjamin Distinguished Education and Advocacy Award, in recognition of my valuable contributions to advocacy for transgender equality and rights.

In 2013, I became the first Filipino migrant student to have received the ECHO award, which is given annually to excellent and promising migrant students. And upon graduating at Leiden University College in 2014, I received the Global Citizenship Award, awarded to a graduating student in recognition of participatory citizenship.

And in 2017, I became the first Filipina transsexual woman given a regular political column in a newspaper (The Manila Times) in the Philippines.

Left-handed and dyslexic, I am an introvert in a body of an extrovert who loves reading, travelling, writing poems, dancing, listening to music, bedroom DJ’ing, watching movies, walking, and cooking. If my heartbeat is a music genre, it will definitely be techno. I’m an atheist who is an adherent of Zen Buddhism. Very contented in my life, but always excited for what’s next.