Miss Universe Catriona Grey Supports Trans Woman Arrested for Trying to Use Women’s Restroom

Miss Universe Catriona Grey Supports Trans Woman Arrested for Trying to Use Women’s Restroom

August 16, 2019
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Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray has expressed her support for a transgender woman in the Philippines who was stopped from using the female restroom at a mall in Quezon City. 
On Tuesday, Gretchen Diez made headlines after she was barred by a female custodian from entering the female restroom at Farmers Plaza mall in Cubao, QC.
When the janitor insisted that she use the male bathroom instead, Diez used her phone to record the incident while pursuing her demands. 
Diez, who identifies and presents as a woman, was later brought to the mall’s security office after she persisted to use the facility.
She was also brought to the local police station, where she almost faced an unjust vexation complaint. Diez’s video soon went viral and generated support on social media. 
 
“For me, it was like I was a shoplifter being dragged inside the mall, with people looking at me as I was being held,” Diez tells Rappler in an interview. “I could not understand how, in a supposedly gender-fair city, there’s a person who would treat me like I committed a crime.”
It is worth noting that there is currently an anti-discrimination ordinance in Quezon City. According to Diez, this law is partly the reason why she regularly visits places in the area.
Aside from anti-discrimination laws in a few cities, a legislation to nationalize anti-SOGIE discrimination (sexual orientation and gender identity and expression) law is pending before the Philippine Congress. 
Facing online backlash, the janitor apologized and the case being prepared against Diez was later dropped. 
Gray, who is a known advocate for LGBTQ+ rights, expressed her support for Diez by posting a message along with a photo of the rainbow flag on her Instagram account.
“Last night’s incident involving a transgender woman being prohibited from using the woman’s washroom and resulting in being escorted off-premises in handcuffs by local police only highlights further, the Philippines need for implementation of the #SOGIEEqualityBill,” she wrote, referring to the pending anti-SOGIE discrimination bill.
“LGBTQ+ rights are HUMAN rights — These are the right to safety and freedom from discrimination, and violence based on gender identity.
“The incident happened in a city that has an existing anti-discrimination bill. That means the bill is useless if it’s not enforced.”
In her post, Gray suggested two things that can be done to address the issue of discrimination against members of the LGBTQ+ community.
She noted that the country needs “accessible forms of information for the public such as educational drives, programs, and awareness campaigns” and “a SOGIE workplace policy.” 
Gray further pointed out that no one deserves humiliation, discrimination, and violence just because of one’s gender identity.
“The whole argument of shifting the blame to the victim for reasons of being trans to justify abuse — is still victim-blaming and IS NOT RIGHT,” she wrote.
“The blame should be on the perpetrators who should be held accountable and corrective actions should be taken (in last night’s case – points one and two above could greatly help prevent future similar incidents from happening).”
“The LGBTQ+ community is fighting for their rights – the right to safety, protection, and equality — is also our fight.”
Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach also posted a message of support for the LGBTQ+ community on her Instagram account:
Meanwhile, Araneta Center, which owns Farmers Plaza, posted an apology for Diez on its Facebook page.
 
Despite the apology, Diez said that she would file a case against the Araneta Center Group of Companies, reports Inquirer.
Featured Image via Instagram / catriona_gray (Left), YouTube / Rappler (Right)
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      Ryan General

      Ryan General
      is a Senior Reporter for NextShark

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