By Marjaleen Ramos

The transgender woman who was barred from using a female comfort room at a mall in Quezon City on Tuesday said she is determined to file charges.

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“Sure po ako na one hundred percent in my heart ipu-push ko po ‘yung case against the management of that mall at saka ‘yun pong mga defamation na nangyari po sa ‘kin,” said Gretchen Custodio Diez in an interview with Unang Balita on Wednesday.

Diez was handcuffed and brought to the Quezon City Police District Station 7 after a janitress prevented her from using the women’s comfort room and asked her to use the male’s comfort room instead.

“Nakita naman po sa video po ‘yung pinagsasabi po sa ‘kin na, I think, kahit hindi po sa transgender na katulad ko, napakasakit pong pakinggan,” she added.

Diez said this was not the first she had experienced this kind of discrimination.

“When I was younger po, noong hindi pa ako nagta-transition [o] nagte-take ng hormonal pills po, marami na po akong na-experience na ganyan. Pero during those times po kasi, hindi ako educated about the law, about equality, sa rights ko, so hinahayaan ko po. Parang nilulunok ko na lang po ‘yung mga nangyayari sakin,” Diez said.

“Pero po this time around po that I’m a professional now, I’m educated, I just realized na enough is enough, lalo na po isang supposedly LGBTQ-friendly city like Quezon City. I expected so much from them po. Never ko po in-expect na sa Quezon City ko pa po mararanasan yung ganitong discrimination,” she added.

The janitress who was identified as Chayra Ganal wrote an apology letter to Diez at the police station. Diez said she accepted the apology of the janitress who barred her, but will still hold the mall accountable.

Quezon City has an ordinance banning discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals in the community.

Newly elected Mayor Joy Belmonte also earlier vowed to further pursue gender-responsive equality measures to protect and preserve people’s rights regardless of their sexual preference.

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