Transgender woman was arrested after being harassed for using ladies' comfort room in QC mall

Trans woman Gretchen Custodio Diez photo from wheninmanila (ctto)

Manila, Philippines - In a recent viral video, a transgender woman on Tuesday, August 13, was barred from using a female comfort room in one of the biggest malls in Quezon City.

Gretchen Custodio Diez, 28, a transgender woman and a human resource director at a call center company, was arrested on Tuesday after she was barred by a janitress from using the women's comfort room.

She said she fell in line for the women's restroom at around 1:30 pm inside Farmer's Market in Cubao when a janitress told her to step out and go to the men's restroom instead. 

She fought back at first, defending herself, and felt hesitant. But, she realized she had to do something.

She decided to ask the janitress again why she was not allowed in the women's restroom. She took a video of the encounter and this enfuriates the janitress, who "dragged" and humiliated her to the security room to have her arrested. 

She was detained after the mall's management filed an unjust vexation complaint against her for recording the incident on Facebook.

When the police arrived, she was handcuffed and brought to Quezon City Police District (QCPD) Station 7.

Later that night, the janitress dropped the case filed against Gretchen and apologized for what she had done.

However, Gretchen will pursue to file a complaint against the shopping mall for violating a 2014 city on their sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression.

"I will still fight for what is right 'yung violation against sa city ordinance sa Quezon City. Papatunayan natin sa lahat na may pangil ang batas na may karapatan po tayo na gamitin at magkaroon ng access sa pampublikong lugar," she said.

The incident was being live streamed on facebook which went viral immediately. Netizens condemned the incident as it is an act of discrimination, human rights violation, and a clear violation of the city ordinance on anti-discrimination law.

This also called the attention of Mayor Joy Belmonte and other Quezon City officials, Bataan Congresswoman Geraldine Roman and Senator Grace Poe.

"We do not support any kind of violence and discrimination in our city. Sa atin pong LGBT+ community, protektado ang karapatan ninyo sa QC," Belmonte said.

Quezon City Councilor Mayen Juico reminded business establishments to impose the gender-fair city ordinance. The ordinance also requires establishments to create gender-neutral restrooms.

Diez is being grateful to everyone for supporting her as she is determined to serve this as a lesson for everyone and it is about time to spread the awareness on SOGIE (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression) Equality Bill to end discrimination and hate against LGBT community.

"Thank you for the overwhelming support. 'Di po natin ihihinto ang laban," she said.

"It should not happen in Quezon City. It should not happen anywhere in the Philippines," she added.

 Source: abs-cbn

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