Sotto: Why not ‘homo sapiens’ instead of LGBTQIA+?

Published August 15, 2019, 10:31 AM

by Patrick Garcia

By Marjaleen Ramos

Senate President Vicente Sotto III on Wednesday suggested that “homo sapiens” could be the better term to represent lesbians, gays, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersexuals, and asexuals instead of the lengthy term LGBTQIA+.

Sen. Vicente Sotto III (Senate of the Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN)
Sen. Vicente Sotto III
(Senate of the Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN)

“Why the lengthy letters? Why not just ‘homo sapiens?’ Sotto asked Senator Risa Hontiveros.

“Why do we have to segregate the gays from the lesbians from the straight guys?” he added.

Hontiveros on Wednesday delivered her privilege speech renewing her call for the passage of the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) Equality bill.

“Totoo po. We are all homo sapiens, we are all human beings, we are all one species,” Hontiveros responded to Sotto.

“There would not have been a need to segregate, I agree with you, if human civilizations and societies evolved to a point where there is no discrimination, and there’s equality among all, regardless of identity, regardless of expression. Kaya lang hindi ganun ang nangyayari… that is why the community felt it’s necessary,” Hontiveros added.

Hontiveros also further explained the “+” in the LGBTIQA+.

“Plus po dahil sa natututunan natin about human sexuality, maraming kulay, maraming shades, so the spectrum may forever be further and further be refined habang nakikilala natin ang ating mga tao,” she said.

Hontiveros delivered her message following an incident involving transgender woman Gretchen Custodio Diez, who was barred by a janitress from using a comfort room designated for women at a mall in Cubao, Quezon City on Tuesday.

Diez had said that she would file the appropriate charges against the mall’s management.