Transwoman Gretchen Custodio Diez explained her pictures with administration allies Senators Bong Go and Imee Marcos after she received criticisms from the online community following the incident.
In her Facebook page, Diez said that it is not her intention to endorse “any politician, political party or organization.” Rather, she is “grateful” to anyone who shows their support for upholding LGBTQ’s rights, especially after her experience.
“We need to be united and set aside political differences. Just because we have different ideas, doesn’t mean we can’t compromise and fight for one cause,” she wrote.
I'm not endorsing any politician, party or organization. Whoever shows support with this fight, I am really grateful. We…
The explanation came after some Filipinos called her out when she shared a picture with Go on her Facebook account doing a fist bump, the signature hand gesture of President Rodrigo Duterte that gained prominence during the presidential campaign.
“You can’t call for the rights of the LGBTQ while proudly sporting a symbol of heteropatriarchy that is the reason for gender discrimination,” a Twitter user said.
Disppointing turn of events.
Gretchen doing 👊🏼 is very counterproductive to all that she’s done to expose gender inequality. You can’t call for the rights of the LGBT while proudly sporting a symbol of heteropatriarchy that is the reason for gender discrimination. pic.twitter.com/oOZlzvuA1k
— Ash Presto 💜 (@sosyolohija) August 15, 2019
Some also noticed that Diez posed with Marcos, daughter of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos responsible for the numerous atrocities during the Martial Law period.
“Imee Marcos is a threat to human rights. LGBTQ rights are human rights. To side with her spurns the cause,” another Twitter user claimed as he pointed out that Marcos is against same-sex marriage.
This "advocate" of LGBTQ rights is
✅ Unwilling to support the SOGIE Bill
✅ Against same-sex marriage
✅ Complicit to the mass killings & torture under her father's regime
Imee Marcos is a threat to human rights. LGBTQ rights are human rights. To side with her spurns the cause. https://t.co/r3fXDC1guY
— Mon #SaveLumadSchools #HandsOffOurFamilies (@YearoftheMonSy) August 15, 2019
Meanwhile, Marcos’ picture with Diez can be seen on the former’s Facebook and Twitter page.
“The Senator is a known advocate of LGBTQ rights and has, in fact, filed a bill prohibiting discrimination against them,” part of Marcos’ post reads.
Gretchen Diez, the transwoman who figured in a viral video at a Quezon City mall, paid a courtesy call on Senator Imee…
Marcos may have claimed to be an “advocate of LGBTQ rights” but she previously shared that she disagrees with the legalization of same-sex marriage since it’s “too complicated.”
“I think masyado siyang komplikado. Hindi mo kasi maihahambing ‘yung union sa konsepto ng marriage na nasa Saligang-Batas,” she said, despite filing her own version of an anti-discrimination bill based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression (SOGIE).
Renewed calls for SOGIE bill
Diez was initially approached by Marcos that time, according to a local report.
She was also approached by Senators Manny Pacquiao, Ronald dela Rosa, Miguel Zubiri and Pia Cayetano, who briefly talked to her.
On the same day, LGBTQ rights advocate Sen. Risa Hontiveros delivered a privilege speech that renewed calls for the passage of the SOGIE bill following Diez’s experience in Farmers Plaza Mall at Cubao.
“Una, babae siya. A transwoman is a woman. Pangalawa, pang-araw-araw na karanasan ng mga LGBTQ at lalong-lalo na ang mga transwomen ang pangha-harass, pangungutya at pang-aabuso sa CR panlalaki,” the senator said.
“Panahon na para sabihin na hindi tayo papayag na may LGBTQI na poposasan, sasampalin, aalipustahin dahil sa akanilang kasarian. It is time that we say we will stand by those who speak their truths,” Hontiveros added.
Go and Marcos voiced their support for the SOGIE bill’s passage after she delivered her privilege speech.
Hontiveros refiled Senate Bill 159 or the SOGIE bill protecting LGBTQ members from discriminatory acts at the 18th Congress after it previously languished at the upper chamber.
The SOGIE bill acknowledges the rights of the LGBTQ community and protects them from different forms of discrimination in Philippine society.
With its passage, LGBTQ members cannot be denied access to establishments, facilities, and services open to the general public simply because of their sexual orientation.
The bill was first filed in the Congress by the late Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago and former Rep. Loretta Rosales of the Anakbayan party-list in 2000. — Artwork by Uela Altar-Badayos