Transwoman valedictorian now a lawyer after passing 2023 Bar exam
MANILA, Philippines — Five years after becoming the first transgender valedictorian of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (pre-law), Jose Rizal University’s Ianne Gamboa is now a lawyer after passing the 2023 Bar examinations.
Gamboa, in an interview with INQUIRER.net, said her goal was to be the first openly transgender woman to have finished the Philippine Bar exams as a topnotcher.
“During my law school years and during my preparation for the Bar, I was really praying and had a goal of being the first openly trans woman Bar topnotcher,” said Gamboa.
But while she fell short of her goal, she said she leaves it as a challenge for the younger generation of transwomen.
“My goal of being the first openly trans woman Bar topnotcher is passed to the younger generation of transwomen,” said Gamboa.
“I hope that someone will emerge in the near future and live that dream for the trans community,” she added.
Gamboa narrated that upon hearing that the passing rate of this year’s Bar exams is only 36.77 percent, she felt nervous that she might not be included in the list of passers.
“When I saw my name on the list, I started crying and my family started crying also,” she said.
The new lawyer expressed her gratitude to God, her family, friends and colleagues.
“I am grateful to God because He answered my prayers and to Mama Mary and to everyone especially my family who prayed for me and supported me since my day one in law school,” Gamboa said.
Meanwhile, as if by fate, her father, P/Chief Master Sergeant Paul Gamboa, was also assigned as part of the security within the Supreme Court’s premises.
This allowed him to personally watch as the high court announced this year’s new crop of lawyers.
In an interview with INQUIRER.net, Ianne’s father couldn’t contain his joy and excitement that his youngest daughter passed the Bar exams.
“Masayang masaya. Masayang pamasko po para sa aming pamilya (I am so happy, this is a Christmas blessing for the family),” he said, all smiles and teary-eyed.
“Dito po ako naka-duty habang release ng bar results (I am on duty here while waiting for the release of the bar results),” he shared.
A total of 3,812 — or 36.77 percent of the 10,387 examinees — passed the 2023 Bar exams, according to the Supreme Court.
The digitized exam was conducted on September 17, 20, and 24, 2022.