Transwoman rues maltreatment more than being barred from using female comfort room

Published August 16, 2019, 1:45 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera & Richa Noriega

By Noreen Jazul

Transwoman Gretchen Custodio Diez said the worst part of what happened to her at a mall in Quezon City was beyond the fact that she was not allowed to use the female comfort room, rather how she was treated after.

Gretchen Custodio Diez (Gretchen Custodio Diez' Facebook account / MANILA BULLETIN)
Gretchen Custodio Diez
(Gretchen Custodio Diez’ Facebook account / MANILA BULLETIN)

“Many people are focusing on the fact that I was rejected to use the female washroom. Considering the fact na di na lang ako nag use ng female washroom, isantabi na po muna natin yung pag gamit ng palikuran, but what happened beyond that, how I was dragged going to the security office, how I was treated, how did they say those derogatory words to me, saying the words ‘bakla, nag papasikat ka, gusto mong  sumikat,’ ‘i-like and share ninyo para sumikat ‘yang baklang ‘yan pero di naman siya sisikat kasi hidnindi naman siya maganda ang panget mo,’ ‘bakla ka, ang sarap mong sampalin’,” Diez told ANC.

Diez said the “sad part” of her experience was being handcuffed before she entered the Quezon Memorial Medical Center for a medico-legal.

“I had to take a medical exam and sa ospital po nila ako mismo pinosasan at pinarada, althrougout a pulbic hospital na wala pa po akong malinaw na kaso,” Diez shared.

Diez said what happened to her was a “clear picture” of how limited the rights are of the members of the LGBTQ+ community.

“Yung may posas po kami, meaning limited na ang karapatan namin, wala naman kaming ginagawa, simply because we’re transgender,” Diez said.

Diez, meanwhile, said using the men’s bathroom, instead of the women’s room, “could’ve been easier” but there would be “awkwardness” between both parties.

“The weird feeling goes both ways. Me, thinking that I am a woman and knowing that I am a woman entering a room designated for men is really awkward for me and I don’t feel comfortable with it. Kaya nga tinawag na comfort room, for you to feel comfortable inside the establishment,” Diez said.

“On the side of male, straight male, how does it feel knowing  there is a transowman inside the washroom, isn’t it unformcatable for them as well. Kung pinag lalaban po natin ang isang mukhang babae, o bihis babae ay pumpasok sa washroom ay awkard na nga daw po, how much more na ang lahat ng mga straight na lalaki ay nasa isang room at makakakita sila ng isang anyong babae, bishis babae, galaw babae at may pag uutak ng isang babaee na papasok sa kanilang palikuran,” she added.

Meanwhile, Diez’ lawyer, JC Tejano said the cops in Police Station 7 in Cubao should also be held accountable.

“Imposible na legal yung pag posas kay Gretchen sa police station for any of the acts she supposedly did,” Tejano said

“It was [also] totally unnecessary because yung pag kuha ng medico-legal, ‘yan ay ginagawa kapag ikukulong mo na yung tao, ginagawa to make sure na walang mangyayaring torture while she is detained so ibig sabihin, at that time, it was really a precursor for her detention,” he added.

Read more: Transgender barred from using ladies’ toilet to sue mall