Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray has expressed her full support for the Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Gender Expression (SOGIE) Equality Bill. The 25-year-old beauty queen shared her thoughts on the topic, citing a recent incident that involved the unjust arrest of Gretchen Diez—a trans woman who had been barred from using the women’s restroom in Farmer’s Market.
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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. LGBTQ+ rights are HUMAN rights – mga karapatang pangkaligtasan at kalayaan mula sa diskriminasyon, karahasan at pagmamalupit batay sa pagkakakilanlan. 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. Kasabay ng hinihinging pagpasa ng #SOGIEEQUALITYBILL, dapat din tayong humiling ng mga sumusunod bilang isang komunidad: 1. "Accessible forms of information for the public such as educational drives, programs and awareness campaigns": para mas maintindihan natin ang mga pangangailangan ng LGBTQ+ community at para malaman natin ang mga bagay na maaari pa nating magawa bilang mga kaalyado o mga taong may awa sa kapwa ❤. 2. "A SOGIE workplace policy": para sa lahat ng mga pampublikong tagapaglingkod at mga taong may impluwensiya sa komunidad. Gusto ko ring pagtuunan natin ng pansin ang katotohanang wala dapat makaranas ng anumang uri ng pagpapahiya at pang-aabuso (emotional, physical o sexual), LGBTQ+ man o hindi. The whole arguement of shifting the blame to the victim for reasons of being trans to justify abuse – is still victim blaming and IS NOT RIGHT. 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. 🏳🌈 #SOGIEEqualityNow
“LGBTQ+ rights are HUMAN rights – mga karapatang pangkaligtasan at kalayaan mula sa diskriminasyon, karahasan, at pagmamalupit batay sa pagkakakilanlan,” said Gray. She went on to explain the importance of having initiatives that would complement anti-discrimination legislation. These included educational drives and awareness campaigns to increase people’s understanding of the struggles of the LGBTQ+ community, as well as a SOGIE workplace policy.
Gray also called out people who were claiming that transness is an acceptable reason for a person to be abused. “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. The blame should be on the perpetrators who should be held accountable and corrective actions should be taken,” she argued. At the end of the day, Gray hopes Filipinos will remember that the fight of the LGBTQ+ community for their rights is one that everyone should be invested in.
The SOGIE Equality Bill was recently refiled after it was left hanging in the Senate during the 17th Congress. It has been 19 years since the first version of the bill was introduced but it continues to face opposition among conservatives who see it as a possible precursor to same-sex marriage, rather than a legal measure to stop SOGIE-based discrimination.
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