The Philippines is one of the many countries that support the LGBTQ community. The last Manila pride march had over 70,000 attendees.
But on August 13, Tuesday, a transwoman was arrested at Farmers Plaza Cubao in Quezon City for allegedly going live on Facebook because she was prevented from using the women’s restroom.
Gretchen Custodio Diez was prevented by a janitor from using the women’s bathroom because she was transgender. Diez thought that they would make her use the PWD restroom, but she was told that she will have to use the men’s room. Diez did not want to go in there because it was filled with men and she felt uncomfortable.
In a video posted by Diez, the janitress is shown grabbing her hand and saying that she was still a male.
“May utin ka pa rin. Tandaan mo ‘yan,”, said the janitress.
Diez was confined inside a security room full of guards.
The janitress initially said she would be filing charges of cyberbullying as Diez filmed a portion of their confrontation inside the women’s restroom and went live on Facebook.
Diez was first brought to QCPD Station 7 then to the QCPD’s Anti-Cybercrime Division in handcuffs, which enraged netizens.
Around 11:30 pm, Diez was released as the janitress apologized through a letter and decided to not file further charges.
Diez accepted the apology and forgave the janitress, but will hold the Farmer’s Plaza’s management accountable for what happened since they disobeyed the city ordinance.
Posted by Gretchen Custodio Diez on Monday, August 12, 2019
The media caught up with Chayra Ganal, the janitress that confronted Diez, but she fainted when asked questions about the incident.
According to Diez, the staff at Farmer’s Plaza handled her poorly. She was touched aggressively and she suffered verbal abuse. She said that the guards behaved poorly towards her. Diez was also slapped several times and her phone was taken away from her.
Everything that the staff did went against the newly passed anti-discrimination ordinance of Quezon City.
Senator Risa Hontiveros also showed support for Diez.
THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE! A lawyer from my office is w/ Gretchen now. She has my full support. I am extending whatever help she would need to seek justice.
She is being harassed for living her truth. Discrimination against transgender people has to STOP! https://t.co/Saduhma7tC
— risa hontiveros (@risahontiveros) August 13, 2019
The chances of the SOGIE (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression) bill getting passed will be higher now as Hontiveros is pushing for it more than ever.
Congresswoman Geraldine B. Roman of the 1st District of Bataan, the first transgender woman elected into Congress, also came to the precinct to show her support for Diez.
The LGBTQ community is also supporting Diez.