Twitter users caused an uproar Wednesday after a transgender woman was barred from using the women’s comfort room in a mall in Quezon City.
Gretchen Custodio Diez was stopped by a janitress from using the restroom on Tuesday, resulting in an argument.
Diez recorded the incident live on Facebook as she was held inside a room with swinging doors.
The hashtag #SOGIEEqualityNow trended on Twitter.
“Good morning to everyone especially to Gretchen Custodio Diaz who had to go through unexplicable horror and except to those who continue to think that the janitress was right in humiliating and disrespecting Diaz. Trans people are people!!! #SOGIEEqualityNow,” a netizen said.
“Gretchen is going home, but our fight does not stop here.Every day the state fails to protect LGBTQIA+ people from SOGIE-SC based discrimination in the private and public spheres. WE NEED TO PASS THE SOGIE EQUALITY ACT NOW.,” LGBT organization Metro Manila Pride tweeted.
The Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) Equality bill seeks to prevent various economic and public accommodation-related acts of discrimination against people based on their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.
The measure prohibits and penalizes discriminatory acts by a fine not less than P100,000 and not more than P500,000, or imprisonment of not less than one year but not more than six years, or both.
Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte posted online that the city government condemns discrimination towards members of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) community.
“Malinaw na hindi sumusunod ang Farmers Mall sa nasabing ordinansa kung saan lahat ng government offices, private, at commercial establishments ay dapat magtalaga ng “All-Gender Toilets” para sa lahat (Section 5: Affirmative Acts, 1 Affirmative Acts in Employment, Part D).,” Belmonte posted.
In a television interview, Diaz shared it was not the first time that she was discriminated against. This time, she is determined to file charges.
“When I was younger po, noong hindi pa ako nagta-transition [o] nagte-take ng hormonal pills po, marami na po akong na-experience na gan’yan. Pero during those times po kasi, hindi ako educated about the law, about equality [and] sa rights ko so hinahayaan ko po. Parang nilulunok ko na lang po ‘yung mga nangyayari sakin,” Diez said.