Filipino screenwriter Suzette Doctolero shared a list of reasons for accepting transgender women in public restrooms amid the alleged harassment incident of a transwoman at a mall in Quezon City.
Doctolero made the Facebook post on August 13, and it has since been shared more than 8,000 times.
A certain Gretchen Diez took to social media to share how she was harassed and detained after a janitress prohiibited her from using the women’s restroom at a mall in Cubao, Quezon City.
Diez’s posts made rounds online and sparked renewed calls for the immediate passage of the Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Gender Expression (SOGIE) Equality bill.
Doctolero addressed her post to women who have concerns about transgender people using women’s restrooms.
Sa mga kapwa ko babae: kapag ang isang transwoman ay nag cr sa banyo ng mga babae, huwag naman tayong matakot,…
She emphasized that transwomen do not pose a threat to the safety of other women.
“Di nila tayo type. Di nila tayo bobosohan o mamanyakin kasi wala silang interest sa atin. Maski maghubad tayo sa harap nila, walang mangyayari, baka masuka lang sila,” Doctolero said.
“Mas ligtas tayo na kasama ang isang transwoman kaysa sa manyak na lalaki. o sa kapwa babae na kagaya ni ateng janitress na nagdiscriminate at nambully doon sa isang trans,” she added.
Transwomen, on the other hand, are vulnerable to harassment, rape and other types of vile actions should they opt to use men’s restrooms.
Doctolero also cited the standing city ordinance of gender equality in Quezon City that had been established since 2014.
“Tandaan na mayroon na pong city ordinance na nag eexist sa QC noong 2014 pa, na nangangalaga at nagbibigay ng protection sa lgbt people. Ang ordinance na ito ay ang Gender Fair ordinance, kaya ingat sa pambubully at baka mademanda,” she said.
Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte denounced the mall management for what happened to Diez and noted that they are not abiding the city’s laws, particularly the Gender Fair Ordinance.
Sen. Risa Hontiveros, who refiled the SOGIE Equality bill last June, expressed alarm over this and sent one of her lawyers to help facilitate Diez’s release. Diez reportedly got out of the police station by 11 p.m.
In an interview, Diez said that the janitress who barred her from entering the women’s restroom has apologized to her. She eventually accepted it.
However, she will push through with filing charges against Farmer’s Mall.
So far, the mall administration has yet responded to this matter.
Ice Seguerra recalled on Instagram that he is wary whenever entering restrooms in other countries, particularly from the Arab region.
He had also been kicked out of the women’s restroom and questioned when entering the men’s restroom, particularly if there are Filipino men there, numerous times.
The former youth commissioner acknowledged that this may seem petty to some people, but there are real threats against transgender people just for going to the comfort room.
“Para sa iba mababaw, pero hindi eh. Hindi mababaw yung pagtititnginan ka ng mga tao lalo na yung papalabasin ka,” Seguerra said.
“Parang kinakain ako ng lupa sa tuwing nangyayari yun and what’s worse is I don’t feel safe. All of these feelings and more, and now this… just because gusto lang namin magbanyo,” he added.
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Honestly, this is one of my biggest fears whenever I'm out. Lalo na pag nasa Arabic countries ako. Pag sa pambabaeng banyo, ilang beses na akong pinalabas. And kung sa panlalaki naman, ang daming tanong, lalo na kung may mga pinoy. Kapag may ASEAN events akong dinadaluhan nung nagtatrabaho ako sa NYC, hindi ako umiinom ng tubig buong araw kasi natatakot ako mag banyo. This is a real concern. Na hanggat hindi mo pa narararnasan, isasawalang bahala mo lang. Concern na hindi ko kailanman inisip na pagdadaanan ko rin pala. Para sa iba mababaw, pero hindi eh. Hindi mababaw yung pagtititnginan ka ng mga tao lalo na yung papalabasin ka. Parang kinakain ako ng lupa sa tuwing nangyayari yun and what's worse is I don't feel safe. All of these feelings and more, AND NOW THIS… just because gusto lang namin magbanyo.
Blogger Sass Rogando Sasot also shared she had been humiliated a lot of times back when she was still working in the Philippines.
She also concurred with Doctolero’s view that transwomen do not use women’s restrooms out of perversion, contrary to the perception of some people.
I am a Filipina transgender woman. And this is my toilet story in the Philippines.
Posted by For the Motherland – Sass Rogando Sasot on Tuesday, August 13, 2019