Singer Ice Seguerra took to social media on Saturday to share his perspective on the heated debate over the inclusive restroom policy being pushed by groups from the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) sector where transgender people are allowed to use the restroom of their choice.
This, in light of the ongoing discussion on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) Equality bill, a measure that seeks to protect members of the LGBTQ community from all forms of discrimination, following the controversial arrest of transgender woman Gretchen Diez for using the women’s toilet at a known Quezon City mall early this month.
On Facebook, Ice said that the comfort room issue is a bigger concern for those like himself who still have yet to fully transition, more than it is for transgender people who have already “blended in” and, accordingly, have been free to use their preferred restrooms even before the issue came out.
“Sa totoo lang, and I am 100% sure, marami na pong transgender people ang nakakasama ninyo sa comfort rooms. Hindi niyo lang alam or napapansin because they have already transitioned (nakakapag take na ng hormones, probably gender reassignment surgery). Hindi kayo maiilang because they already look female or male. Ika nga, nakapag ‘blend in’ na sila sa mata ng mga tao. Before this issue came out, wala naman kayong naririnig na mga transpeople harrassing other people in comfort rooms. Because we go there for the very same reason na nagbabanyo kayo. Kailangan namin umihi at dumumi, mag re-touch at magpapogi,” he said.
“The comfort room issue is a concern for those of us who haven't fully transitioned. Concern ito for those of us who know we are transgender but are being clocked (or looked at) because our features don't look man or woman enough sa standards ng karamihan. Like I said, it is a concern that one cannot fully understand unless you've been in this position,” he added.
Ice said that it “pains” him seeing friends, especially from the LGBTQ community, who are hostile towards transgender people for simply demanding equal rights.
He went on: “Pinagtatawanan kami, posting memes, and worse, speaking up against supporting the SOGIE Bill kasi hindi naman daw nila naranasan ang diskriminasyon so hindi nila kailangan.
“Swerte kayo kasi whenever you feel like going to the toilet, you can easily go without people questioning you. Hindi niyo kailangan magpigil uminom ng tubig sa pag nasa labas kasi may trauma ka na mag banyo.
“Swerte kayo. Pero hindi lahat swerte. Hindi lahat may boses at impluwensiya kagaya ninyo. Hindi lahat ay kayang tumayo at ipaglaban ang sarili nila. Swerte po kayo. Paano yung mga hindi?”
The “Pagdating Ng Panahon” hitmaker then openly expressed his support for the implementation of gender-neutral comfort rooms, citing: “We are not disregarding your feelings or reservations about this issue. Kaya nga ang hiling namin ay sana may gender-neutral comfort rooms din. Para walang mailang on both sides. And siguro, malawakang pag intindi sa kung ano ba ang kaibahan ng sexual orientation at gender identity.
“So to my dearest straight and LGBT+ friends, don't laugh at us. This issue may not concern you personally but it doesn't discount the fact that we are here, there's a lot of us and we go through this everyday.”
It could be recalled that Ice, who openly identifies as a trans man, was among the few celebrities who rallied support for the passage of SOGIE Equality Bill in the wake of Diez’s arrest.
Aside from Ice, Vice Ganda, a member and outspoken advocate of the LGBTQ+ rights, has previously stated that alloting a separate area for members of the community might be the best solution to the unending debate on the use of public, gendered restrooms.