MANILA, Philippines — Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray expressed her support for transgender woman Gretchen Diez after she was barred from using the female restroom at Farmers Plaza in Cubao last Tuesday, August 13.
When Gretchen refused and took a video of the janitress, she was brought to the mall's security office. The janitress insisted that Gretchen, who identifies and presents as a woman, use the male bathroom instead. She was later brought to a police station, where she almost faced an unjustvexation complaint. The case was later dropped after the janitress apologized.
On Instagram, Catriona, an advocate for LGBTQ+ rights, posted a photo of the rainbow flag.
"Last night's incident involving a transgender woman being prohibited from using the womans washroom and resulting in being escorted off premises in handcuffs by local police only highlights further, the Philippines need for implementation of the #SOGIEEqualityBill," she wrote, referring to the pending anti-SOGIE discrimination bill.
"LGBTQ+ rights are HUMAN rights — mga karapatang pangkaligtasan at kalayaan mula sa diskriminasyon, karahasan at pagmamalupit batay sa pagkakakilanlan. (These are the right to safety and freedom from discimination, and violence based on gender identity.)
"The incident happened in a city that has an existing anti-discrimination bill. Ibig sabihin, walang saysay ang isang bill na hindi maipatupad sa isang komunidad." (That means the bill is useless if it's not enforced.)
[Ed's note: In Quezon City, the anti-discrimination measure is an ordinance or a law. There is, however, pending legislation before Philippine Congress to nationalize an anti-SOGIE discrimination law.]
Catriona listed two things must be done. First, "accessible forms of information for the public such as educational drives, programs and awareness campaigns," which she said will make people understand better the needs of the LGBTQ+ community and "a SOGIE workplace policy." She also called on everyone to focus on the reality that no one deserves humiliation, discrimination, and violence just because of one's gender identity.
"The whole argument of shifting the blame to the victim for reasons of being trans to justify abuse — is still victim blaming and IS NOT RIGHT," Catriona wrote.
"The blame should be on the perpetrators who should be held accountable and corrective actions should be taken (in last nights case - points one and two above could greatly help prevent future similar incidents from happening)."
"Ang LGBTQ + ay nakikipaglaban para sa kanilang mga karapatan - ang karapatan sa kaligtasan, proteksyon at pagkakapantay-pantay - ay laban din natin."
(The LGBTQ+ community is fighting for their rights – the right to safety, protection, and equality — is also our fight.)
View this post on Instagram A post shared by Catriona Gray (@catriona_gray) on Aug 14, 2019 at 10:26am PDT
Ice Seguerra and Vice Ganda have earlier spoken about the issue and expressed their support for Gretchen.
LGBTQ+ advocates Senator Risa Hontiveros and Bataan Representative Geraldine Roman have vowed to continue to push for the anti-SOGIE discrimination bill, which failed to pass as law during the last session of Congress ( READ: ‘Why not just Homo sapiens?’: Senators confused by LGBTQ+, SOGIE). — Rappler.com