Gretchen Diez, a transgender woman barred from entering a female restroom in a Quezon City mall last week, fields questions from reporters after a Senate panel hearing on the Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Expression (SOGIE) Equality bill on Tuesday (August 20, 2019). INQUIRER.net photo / Christia Marie Ramos
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte’s support for the passage of the Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Gender Expression (SOGIE) Equality Bill is giving hope to the LGBTQ+ community,” transwoman Gretchen Diez said Tuesday.
Speaking with reporters after the Senate Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations and Gender Equality held its first public hearing on the said measure, Diez was asked how her meeting with the President went.
“When it comes to equality, especially pushing for the SOGIE Equality bill, I feel like I finally see a ray of sunlight while we are inside a tunnel,” she said.
“Hindi po ako nawawalan ng pag-asa na sa pagsuporta ng ating Pangulong Duterte at pagsuporta ng lahat ng sangay ng pamahalaan kabilang na po ang lahat ng academic institution at ang pagsanib pwersa ng LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, queer) community makakamit po natin ang pagkakapantay-pantay,” she added.
Last week, Diez was barred from using a toilet designated for women in a Quezon City mall, after which she was handcuffed and arrested by the police.
This incident sparked further debates on the approval of the SOGIE Equality bill which Senator Risa Hontiveros refiled at the 18th Congress.
The House of Representatives approved the bill in 2017, but the Senate version experienced delays during the period of interpellation. /jpv