Liza Diño pushes for ‘gender-neutral’ restrooms

Published April 3, 2018, 9:19 AM

by Hannah Torregoza 

Film Development Council of the Philippines chairperson Liza Diño-Seguerra has aired her thoughts on the “transgender restrooms” issue.

Liza Diño-Seguerra ( /
Liza Diño-Seguerra (

At the press launch of CineMarya ­­­­­– a festival of short films centering on women and their contributions in shaping families and societies mounted by FDCP in partnership with Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) – Liza said she wants it called “gender-neutral restrooms” instead of “transgender CR.”

Speaking on behalf of her husband, former National Youth Commission chairman Aiza “Ice” Seguerra, the Dino cited the importance of having such restrooms in the country.

“Siguro it (my opinion) is going to come from my own experience having a husband na transman,” she said. “I think it’s good to have gender-neutral (restrooms) na pwedeng pasukin ng kahit sino, babae man o lalaki o ‘yung mga taong hindi komportable na pumunta sa CR ng babae o lalaki.”

She also spoke about Ice’s “restroom struggles.”

Liza said, “Isa sa mga pinagdadaanan niya lagi ay kung saang CR siya pupunta. Kasi dito sa Pilipinas, siyempre kilala siya bilang si Aiza Seguerra, pero kung nasa ibang bansa siya kapag pumasok siya sa restroom ng babae, papalabasin siya kasi mukha siyang lalaki.”

“Minsan ayaw na niyang umihi. Mas pinipili na lang niyang umihi sa bahay. Minsan naman siyempre bilang lalaki kapag pumasok siya sa male restroom he is opening himself up to scrutiny. That’s where my answer’s coming from. I think it’s good to have gender-neutral restrooms.”

The former child actor came out as a transgender man in 2014. Since then he and Liza became active advocates of the LGBT community.

According to Liza, her husband’s courage to fight for “equality” and “acceptance” is something worth celebrating.

“I think the fact that he is open about his sexuality, he’s always been open about who he is a person at hindi niya hinahayaang ikahon siya kung anong dapat niyang maging dahil lang showbiz personality siya… I think for me it’s worth celebrating,” she shared.

“’Yung tapang niya, ‘yung (pagiging) inspirasyon niya sa ibang tao na who can’t find their voice, I do hope na Aiza is influencing them to be open. Siya naman kasi gusto niya tawaging Ice kasi ini-embrace niya na lalaki siya. He needs to be identified as such at sa totoo lang, ‘yun ang journey na he goes through every day.”

Awareness, education

Liza emphasizes the importance of having the right education in order to fully understand the LGBT community.

In line with that, the FDCP chair promotes SOGIE workshop or sexual-orientation-gender-identity-and-expression workshop.

Liza with Aiza Seguerra (
Liza with Aiza Seguerra

“Eto ‘yung kung saan nagbibigay tayo ng workshop sa iba’t-ibang sector ng lipunan para pag-usapan kung paano ba sila magiging sensitibo sa iba’t-ibang gender,” she explained. “Ito ay ‘yung pag-alam kung ano ba ang (depinisyon ng) sexual orientation at ano ang kaibihan nito sa gender identity at expression.”

“Minsan kasi masyado din tayong nagiging sensitive, na akala natin bina-brand agad ng ganito, pero baka ‘yung ibang tao ignorant lang sila sa konsepto. So you just have to create that awareness and expose them to the different concepts of different genders.”

But of course, the chairperson supports the pending Anti-Discrimination Bill No. 4982 or the SOGIE Bill. It is intended to prevent various economic and public accommodation-related acts of discrimination against people based on their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.

“’Yung Anti-Discrimination Bill na ito, talaga namang iniiyak nating ipasa ‘di ba? Hopefully, ma-finalize na para magkaroon na ng exposure and understanding (ang mga tao) on the difference of gender identity and sexual orientationn”

Liza is aware that criticism5#s might hit her following the airing of her sentiments on the matter. Nonetheless, she calls for respect and understanding.

“I think more than anything mas bukas na tayo ngayon in understanding that we are all different. We should respect each other’s differences no matter what kung ano ‘yung beliefs natin lalo na in terms of ano ba ang konsepto ng isang babae at lalaki,” she said. “I think we’re open enough to understand na it has to start from awareness and education. Meron tayong LGBT community and we have to respect their choice and ‘yung mga pinagdadaanan nila in terms of discriminations.”