Transphobia and discrimination in Farmers
"Araneta management must reach out, be sincere, show true solidarity."
Undeniably, discrimination was in full force when Ms. Gretchen Diez was prevented from using the comfort room appropriate for her gender identity in Farmers Plaza, Cubao, Quezon City. Ms. Diez experienced first hand the kind of transphobia, bigotry and violence being committed regularly against Filipino trans women.
The incident clearly showed how stigma and gender bias against LGBTQ are well entrenched in the Filipino socio-cultural fabric. The handling of Ms. Diez’s case by Farmers' security office and by the police undermined her dignity, well-being and security. The shaming she experienced was unwarranted and dehumanizing.
TLF Share Collective, as a community organization of LGBTQ rights advocates, calls on the Farmers Plaza administration and the Araneta Group Management to take action on the harms done against Ms. Diez, to reach out and show sincerity in making reparations to the transgressions committed against Ms. Diez's rights and dignity.
The Araneta Group must become true to their show of solidarity in LGBTQ Pride. It is not for mere visual merchandising or consumer marketing. We call on the Araneta Group to institutionalize measures in all their areas of engagement that will ensure respect of every person's rights and dignity regardless of SOGIE. They must program SOGIE and Human Rights education for the management and staff, service providers, and commercial tenants. Review and improvement of policies, protocols and guidelines are necessary to ensure enterprise-wide compliance with the Quezon City Gender Fair Ordinance. These steps would help transform the Araneta Center into a truly safe space for all.
The Araneta Group Management's engagement and collaborative work with the LGBT community and SOGIE Equality advocates and organization will help them to actualize a genuine inclusive #PrideAraneta.
TLF Share calls on the Philippine National Police to be earnest in performing its role as protectors of equality and not perpetrators of discrimination against LGBTQ.
TLF SHARE likewise calls on the Quezon City government to fully implement the provisions of its anti-discrimination policies. The local government must see to it that all establishments and institutions in the city are compliant. Quezon City has in its power to ensure equal rights protection extends beyond rhetoric and be felt by its constituents.
Finally, TLF Share enjoins everyone to continue engaging public and private institutions towards achieving a truly free, equal, empowered and safe society.
(Originally posted on TLF Share Facebook page, August 15, 2019. Photo Credit: Screen capture from an uploaded video on Araneta Center's Facebook page.)