Manila, 17 August—Filipino transgender woman Gretchen Diez is at the forefront of something remarkable. After being barred from using the women’s restroom in a mall in Quezon City, she is now leading the charge in elevating to the national stage the discussion of LGBTQ+ rights issues, specifically transgender women’s rights. Quezon City, which has an ordinance prohibiting such discriminatory actions, is the perfect battle ground for this fight. Now, we can test the effectivity of such local pronouncements, and in the process, be able to pinpoint areas for improvement and collaboration.
With transgender woman Rep. Geraldine Roman and SOGIE bill champion Sen. Risa Hontiveros in the mix, it’s the perfect time to reach out and educate those tuning in to the issue about the importance of SOGIE and the harsh realities of discrimination and hate against members of the LGBTQ+ community.
That said, it’s been a mix of inspiring and disheartening so far, watching the news and following discussions on social media. There’s still a lot of hurtful language out there, and most of it are because people just do not know better. On the bright side, this issue has also been an opportunity for allies to speak out in support. I am happy to see my friends being vocal and rallying behind Gretchen and the passage of the SOGIE bill. It takes a lot of courage to lend one’s face to battles like this—battles that may be exploited by politicians, for example. I hope we’ll be able to focus on the core issues at hand and not allow ourselves to be distracted.
Hey Queers website update
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Happy weekend! Xo,