Transgender woman Gretchen Custodio Diez was handcuffed and led from the ladies room after custodial staff complained to a guard at Farmers Plaza in Cubao, Quezon City, Philippines on Tuesday.
Diez left after the guard told her that she had to use the men’s room but returned shortly after and recorded the incident. The guard then took Diez handcuffed to the police station. The charges were dropped later that night when Bataan Congresswoman Geraldine Roman, a transgender woman, went to the police station where Diez was detained.
Senator Risa Hontiveros, in a statement, said the discrimination against transgender people is unacceptable.
In a post on her social media account, Hontiveros said, “THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE! A lawyer from my office is w/ Gretchen now. She has my full support. I am extending whatever help she would need to seek justice. ”
LGBT residents of Quezon City are protected by the country’s first of a kind local Ordinance No. 2357, a comprehensive LGBT non-discrimination law.
Mayor Joy Belmonte – who shepherded the passage of the ordinance when she was vice mayor and head of the city council in 2014 — condemned the incident, describing it as a clear form of discrimination against a member of the LGBT+ community.