Among the other Asian countries, the Philippines emerged as one of the few gay-friendly countries in the world — thanks to the ardent LGBTQ+ advocates and “woke” supporters who helped shed some light on this sensitive issue. In fact, a proposed bill called the Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity or Expression (SOGIE) Equality Bill, which aims to protect all citizens from discriminatory acts, is now waiting for its counterpart measure from the Senate.
Despite the paradigm shift in the Philippine media, gays are still frown upon in some places. In a recent Facebook post, Mikki Galang, a transgender woman, shared how she was discriminated by a security guard at Metro Rail Transit (MRT-3) system.
I ride the MRT because I have no car. I want to be an efficient working person, and to not contribute to the traffic…
In the video clip she posted, the security guard refused to allow Galang from boarding the coach assigned for women. They were shocked by how the guard approached them and even insisted that they should follow the rail system’s policies.
Galang also added that prior to what was seen in the video, two of the MRT-3’s security guards even dared to question her gender.
“Bawal po lalaki dito (Men are not allowed here),” the guards said. But when she introduced herself as a woman, the guards asked, “Paano? (How?)”
The video clip that was posted last September 8, 2017, recently resurfaced online and evoked reactions from netizens.
After the incident, DOTr communications director Goddes Libiran said that the department “[does not tolerate] any form of inequality when it comes to gender and service.”
She also added that what happened was a matter of “further educating the staff and employees, even security guards, to be more sensitive to these [issues].”
Homosexuality in the country still lies between the spectrum of tolerance and acceptance. There may be determined campaigns that promote gender equality here and abroad; the matter, however, is still seen as a challenge in some parts of the country.
And yes, the situation could be much worse but the LGBTQ+ battle in the Philippines has a long way to go.
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