A transgender woman’s arrest after being barred from using the women’s comfort room in a shopping mall in Quezon City has inspired a few celebrities to rally support for the passage of the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) Equality Bill, a measure that seeks to protect the LGBTQ community by penalizing all forms of discrimination.
On Twitter on Wednesday, It’s Showtime host Vice Ganda expressed his disappointment over the discriminatory harassment the said transwoman, Gretchen Diez, 28, has experienced because of her gender identity.
“Nakakakaawa yung mga LGBTQ+ na napagkakaitan ng karapatan dahil sa kanilang gender identity. At nakakaawa rin yung mga ignorante na napagkakaitan ng kaalaman kaya nakakatapak ng karapatan. Kailan pa kaya lalawak ang pang unawa sa LGBTQ+? May pag asa pa ba ang SOGIE BILL?”
Meanwhile, in a series of tweets, TV host and comedian Jervi Li, otherwise known as “KaladKaren Davila”, called the incident as “horrifying” and “barbaric.”
She added, “To all the members of the LGBTQIA+ community, kapag inaapakan ang karapatan ninyo bilang isang tao—-Umalma, magsalita, lumaban! Maraming mga handang tumulong sa inyo. Kapit-kapit tayo!#ResistTogether”
THIS IS APPALLING!!! What is happening? https://t.co/1gnFQB9Upx— KaladKaren (@jervijervi) 13 d’agost de 2019
Lalaban tayo, Gretchen!!! Kapit lang! This has to stop!!! Outright discrimination!!! NAKAKAGALIT https://t.co/T2qU8GtH9W— KaladKaren (@jervijervi) 13 d’agost de 2019
For her part, Pinoy Big Brother host Bianca Gonzalez took the opportunity to express her admiration for the LGBTQ community and allies who fought together alongside Diez. She added, “Ang layo pa talaga ng ilalakbay ng laban para sa SOGIE awareness.. naka-attend na ako ng ilang SOGIE forums sa ilang opisina. Is it possible to make this mandatory?”
Senator Risa Hontiveros, who authored the SOGIE Equality Bill in the Senate, similarly condemned the harassment and called for her colleagues to pass the measure.
"Sa mga nagsasabing hindi na natin kailangan ng SOGIE Equality Law kasi tanggap na naman ang LGBT sa Pinas: A trans woman has just been humiliated in a mall restroom in Cubao. Pinosasan at dinala sa Karingal!" she said.
"She is being harassed for living her truth. Discrimination against transgender people has to STOP! LGBT persons face harassment & discrimination every day. This must STOP!" she added.
Meanwhile, Diez said she’s determined to file charges against the mall for violating a Quezon City ordinance, which prohibits business establishments to discriminate people based on their SOGIE.
“Wala naman akong gustong makulong. Gusto ko lang po maging lesson po 'yun na minsan po kasi sa society natin kami 'yung naaapi, kami pa 'yung masama, kami pa 'yung tinatapakan," she said.
"Gusto ko lang po patunayan na kaya rin po namin ipaglaban 'yung karapatan namin," she added.