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Solon proposes separate restroom for the ‘third sex’

A party-list lawmaker on Thursday suggested to establish a separate restroom for members of the LGBT community, whom he said belongs to the "third sex," to prevent a recurrence of the discrimination and arrest of trans woman Gretchen Custodio Diez.

"I think the only solution there is to also come up with another restroom for the third sex. Tawag natin third sex. So that hindi tayo nagkakaroon ng problema," 1-PACMAN party-list Representative Eric Pineda told reporters at a press conference.

Pineda said this solution is to prevent members of the LGBT community from feeling uncomfortable whenever they go to a male or female restroom.

"Kasi siyempre yung mga kapatid natin from the LGBT, naiilang sila pumunta sa men's room. Feeling nila baka pagtawanan sila doon or whatever," he said.

"Sa akin mas maganda yung ganun na we come up with another restroom for our brothers and sisters from the LGBT," he added.

Pineda admitted that he feels uneasy, for instance, whenever a janitress goes inside a male restroom to clean up the place.

"Medyo nakakailang yun," he said.

PBA party-list Representative Jericho Nograles, however, said he does not feel the same.

"For me, I go to the male restroom like anybody else, I don't care," Nograles said. "Meron ngang naglilinis diyan na janitress habang nasa CR ako ng isang mall... hindi ako naiilang."

"It really depends, it's a matter of people's tolerance. I have the right to feel okay. Cong. Pineda has the right to feel not okay about it. But no one has the right na mambugbog," he added.

Nograles also said that all-gender restrooms are established in various areas like at the Clark International Airport.

"That is a government facility and then you'd see an all-gender restroom, hindi yan pinagbabawal ng batas," he said.

Diez on Tuesday was barred by a janitress in the Quezon City mall from using the women's comfort room and told her to use the rest room for males instead.

She left but returned to talk to the janitress and proceeded to do a video recording of the exchange. A lady guard then handcuffed Diez and brought her to the Quezon Police District 7 where a complaint for unjust vexation was supposed to be filed against her.

The staff members were reportedly distressed that Diez took a video without their permission.

The complaint against Diez was eventually dropped a few minutes after midnight.

Bataan Representative Geraldine Roman and members of the Makabayan bloc have filed a resolution to investigate the incident.

Roman, the first trans woman to be elected to Congress, also urged her fellow lawmakers to accommodate members of the LGBT community of the same respect she gets from them whenever she uses the women's comfort room at the House.

"Nanawagan ako sa kapwa ko mambabatas, kung kayo naibibigay ninyo sa akin yung basic need ko, hinahayaan ninyo akong umihi sa CR ng babae sang-ayon sa aking gender identity, bakit niyo ipagkakait sa mga ibang mga transwomen, transmen, sa mga LGBT?" she said at an earlier press conference.

"Ako'y naniniwala na kung anong respeto ang binibigay sa akin ng aking mga kapwa mambabatas ay ibibigay din nila sa kapwa Pilipino na nagkataon lang na LGBT," she added. — RSJ, GMA News