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Celebrities, netizens pour outrage, displeasure



The discrimination, abuse and humiliation experienced by transwoman Gretchen Custodio Diez, who merely used the women’s restroom at the Farmers Plaza in Araneta Center, Cubao, Quezon City, elicited a lot of reactions. Netizens, many of which are celebrities and prominent personalities, expressed their indignation, disappointments and anger on this blatant show of transphobia. There were renewed calls for the passing of the SOGIE (sexual orientation and gender identity and expression) Equality Bill or Anti-Discrimination Bill.
Long-time LGBTQ+ ally and senator Risa Hontiveros were among the first to react and came to Diez’s aid as well as Bataan Rep. Geraldine Roman, herself a transgender.

The Gretchen Diez indicident became trending topic on Twitter for a couple of days as people aired their support and thoughts on social media (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram). Here are some of them:

“How heart-breaking to see the LGBTQ+ being deprived of their rights because of their gender identity. It is also sad to see the ignorant deprived of knowledge who step on the rights of others. When will understanding on LGBTQ+ issues expand? Is there hope for the SOGIE BILL?”

— Vice Ganda


“To those who say that the SOGIE Equality Law is not needed because the LGBT are tolerated in the Philippines. She was handcuffed and brought to Camp Karingal!

“One of my lawyers is with Gretchen Diez now. Gretchen 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! LGBT persons face harassment and discrimination every day. This must STOP!”

— Sen. Risa Hontiveros


Honestly, this is one of my biggest fears whenever I’m out. Especially when I am in Arabic countries. If I went to women’s restrooms, I’ve been asked to leave several times. If I am at the men’s restroom, there are a lot of questions, especially from Filipinos. When I attended ASEAN events when I was working at the NYC, I did not drink water the whole day because I was afraid to use the restroom. This is a real concern. That if you have not experienced it, you will just shrug it off. A concern that I did not imagine I will also go through. For others, this is trivial but it is not. It is not trivial when people stare at you especially when you are asked to leave. It is like I am being swallowed by the earth every time that happens to me, and what’s worse is that I don’t feel safe. All of these feelings and more, AND NOW THIS… just because we want to use the restroom.

— Ice Seguerra


“Huge respect for the LGBTQ community and allies who fight for the rights of Gretchen. There is still a long way for the fight for SOGIE awareness… I have attended several SOGIE forums of several offices. Is it possible to make this mandatory? #SOGIEEqualityNow.”

— Bianca Gonzales