Transgender solon tells critics: God made me this way
Bataan Rep. Geraldine Roman, the first transgender congresswoman in the country, told believers and critics that God made her the way she is.
“I believe in God and I want to explain to all believers and Christians that God made me this way. I did not choose to be this way, I was born this way, with this mindset, with this heart,” Roman said in an interview with INQ&A.
She also said that it is hurtful that these so-called “men of God” judge the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) people on what’s between the legs and told them to spare the community from Bible verses, because not everything is applicable to them.
“Sinasabi nga, sana tinanggap ko ang binigay ng Diyos, pero bahagi ng binigay sa akin ng Diyos ang aking puso, ang aking isip, hindi lang naman (They say that I should have accepted what God has given me, but a part of what God has given my is my heart, my mind, not only) what I have between the legs, for me that is the least of the problems,” Roman said.
“Madaling baguhin ang katawan, pero ang puso mo (It easy to change your body, but your heart), how you identify yourself, hindi mo mababago iyan (you can’t change it),” she added.
The solon also questioned critics if they know what she and the LGBT people have been through and clarified that the community is only asking for equality under the law and human rights, not special rights.
“Baka ‘di naman nila pinili maging ganito, alam niyo ba? Kung hindi niyo alam, how can you? How can you think of bashing us lalo na ang pananampalataya sa Panginoon?” she said in the same interview.
(Maybe they did not choose to be like this, did you know that? If you don’t know, how can you? How can you think of bashing us especially our faith in God?)
She noted that she is handling the criticisms by fighting a good fight.
“I know that I am fighting for (something) na kinakailangan ng lipunan, (that the society needs)” she said.
The lawmaker also said that she is happy with the support of her colleagues in Congress and cited that more than 150 of them signed her proposed anti-discrimination bill, which has been approved and is on its way to the plenary.
The bill, which penalizes all forms of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression (SOGIE), has been around in one form or another for 17 years.
Roman recalled that Rep. Arlene “Kaka” Bag-ao, one of the main proponents of the bill, said that that their colleagues are experiencing interacting with an LGBT person firsthand and they have realized that she’s no different from them.
The solon said that Bag-ao is the “mind” behind the bill, while the latter said that Roman is the face and heart.
“Natutuwa naman ako na ako ay naging instrument, ang sabi niya pa sa akin (I am happy to become the instrument, she also told me), if doors are not closed sa iyo dapat ganoon din sa rest of LGBT community,” she said.
She shared that she has been going to universities, giving talks and expressed elation over younger generation’s support and understanding.
“Kung may ganoong kabataan, mas maganda ang kinabukasan, kayo po ang nagbibigay ng lakas ng loob sa akin para ipaglaban itong laban sa equality despite the occasional bashing that I receive,” she said.
(If there are youths like that, the future is better, you are the ones giving me strength to fight for equality despite the occasional bashing that I receive.) RAM/rga