Stefani is a migrant writer. She has been an overseas Filipino worker based in Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia for 15 years from 2008 to 2022. Born in Metro Cagayan de Oro in the southern Philippines.
At the annual Philippine National Book Awards, her collection Ang Autobiografia ng Ibang Lady Gaga (Visprint, 2015) [The Autobiography of the Other Lady Gaga] won Best Book of Nonfiction Prose in Filipino, and her coming-of-age novel Kagay-an, At Isang Pag-Ibig sa Panahon ng All-Out War (Psicom-Literati, 2018) [Kagay-an and a Love during the All-out War] made the shortlist in the Best Book of Short Fiction in Filipino category. She also edited Saan Man: Mga Kuwento sa Biyahe, Bagahe, at Balikbayan Box (PageJump, 2017) [Elsewhere: Stories from the Trip, Luggage, at Balikbayan Box], a flash fiction anthology written by overseas and local Filipino writers, and co-authored Si Mimi at Si Miming (Vibal, 2020) [Mimi and Miming], an illustrated children’s book. Lama Sabactani: Isang Nobela [Lama Sabactani: A Novel], her second and latest novel, was launched in 2020 by Psicom, and the sequel to her first book Ang Autobiografia ng Ibang Lady Gaga: Ang Muling Pag-ariba [The Autobiography of the Other Lady Gaga: The Resurrection] was published by Canada-based Ukiyoto Publishing in 2021.
Her works, translated into the English by Alton Melvar M. Dapanas, have been published in international publications including Modern Poetry in Translation (UK), Asymptote (Taiwan), Tolka Journal (Ireland) and Rusted Radishes (Lebanon), and are forthcoming elsewhere. Her collaborative projects also featured in After Party Collective (International Studio & Curatorial Program in New York), LGBTQ+ Positive Voices Exhibition (CILIP LGBTQ Network in the UK), and Eisa Jocson’s Bidyoke Project (Goethe-Institut in the United Arab Emirates).
She spearheaded KATAGA – Online, a chapter of KATAGA – Samahan ng mga Manunulat sa Pilipinas, Inc., a literary organization of creative writers, theater artists, and cultural activists.
She is currently working on her latest anthology project, Transfinity Diaries, which offers glimpses of her diasporic life in Saudi Arabia, the hidden trans-universe of a trans woman in a conservative Islamic country and uncertainties in the era of a pandemic, alongside her sporadic search for freedom amid the restrictions and crises, and straddling borders in spaces hostile to LGTBQIA+ rights.
She believes that living in a patriarchal space where she is unable to reveal her identity represents both the act of taking a determined stand and an ambiguity. This is not only a form of resilience, but also provides an anchor for a silent struggle and protest.