'Absurd' to question intent of transgenders in entering restrooms — Roman
Rep. Geraldine Roman said it was "absurd" to suspect the intentions of transgender people entering the restroom designated for the opposite sex.
Philstar.com/Kat Leandicho
'Absurd' to question intent of transgenders in entering restrooms — Roman
(Philstar.com) - August 16, 2019 - 11:10am

MANILA, Philippines — Rep. Geraldine Roman (Bataan), the country's first transgender congresswoman, found the concern of some senators on allowing transgender people to use restrooms designated for the opposite sex as absurd.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson and Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III raised concerns that this move might be exploited by voyeurs.

In a Senate session earlier this week, Lacson said he sees danger if a straight male would enter a female restroom and "do his intention."

"It's really a question that we have to ask of all people. It's really absurd to have to ask this question," Roman told ANC's "Headstart" Friday.

Roman stressed that transgender people enter the restroom only to relieve themselves.

"At the present situation wherein only women are allowed to enter restrooms in many establishments here in Metro Manila, how do you guarantee that none of those women have clean intentions," Roman said.

As to the proposal of Senate President Tito Sotto to call gay people "homo sapiens" instead of the politically correct lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer, asexual and many other terms (LGBTQIA+), the Bataan lawmaker said this was irrelevant.

Sotto asked this after Sen. Risa Hontiveros called for the immediate passage of a sexual orientation and gender identity and expression (SOGIE) equality bill in the Senate.

Roman, meanwhile, said Sotto was just "trying to be funny" when he made the comment.

"That was his usual self but the term 'homo sapiens' is irrelevant. We want a toiled that would respond to the needs of all people regardless of their gender identity," Roman said.

Discussions on the proposed SOGIE equality bill were raised in the Senate following a discrimination incident at a mall in Cubao earlier this week.

Transgender woman Gretchen Custodio Diez was banned from using the women's restroom at Farmers Plaza in Cubao Tuesday night. She was then handcuffed and brought to Camp Caringal for taking a video of her encounter with a mall staff without permission.

The management of Farmers Plaza had apologized for the discrimination against Diez, as well as to the LGBT community and the public in general for the incident. — Patricia Lourdes Viray

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