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Ang Ladlad with Sandra Aguinaldo of Saksi, GMA Channel 7


khrisee said…
i just want to share these two emails i received. One came from a personal
friend. This is regarding her being asked to leave a restaurant/bar at

Dear Brian,

My name is Jean, a transsexual from the Philippines. It just saddens me
that there are still people and establishments here in the Philippines who
are narrow-minded. I have heard of some establishments discriminating
transsexuals but I didn't know that I would experience it first hand.

My friends (combination of gays and transgenders) and I went out last night
to watch Sex and the City at the Greenbelt Mall in Makati City. After the
movie, we decided to get a drink. We went to Cafe HAVANA which is just
downstairs below the cinema because it seems like a cozy place. I was
browsing through the menu when the waiter approached and mumbled something.
I told him I haven't decided yet on what to order. He moved his face closer
and said something. I froze. He said, "Ma'am, you're not allowed here." My
friends and I asked why, and the reason is because we are transgenders. We
were shocked. He told us that the manager insisted we leave the restaurant
because the management doesn't allow transgenders in their restaurants.
Would you believe that???

We all have the money to pay for what we order and yet they discriminated
us because of our sexuality. That is just sad. I have never heard of a
policy like that. We deserve to be treated equally because we are still
people. I am just upset with that and I was traumatized that I don't wanna
go back to Makati City anymore.



Gender discrimination in my own country.

I have received a message from Ang Ladlad containing the open letter below.

Makes me want to rip the heads of those responsible.
An Open Letter of a Transgender Woman in the Philippines

[25 May 2008 / Sunday / 6.04 AM to 6.45 AM]

My friends and I have been made to feel inferior approximately five hours
before I wrote this letter. I'd like to sweep this incident under the
proverbial rug but there is no more space to accommodate it.

On the 24th of May 2008, my friends and I were celebrating the anniversary
of our organization the Society of Transsexual Women of the Philippines
(STRAP), the first transsexual women's support group and transgender rights
advocacy organization in the Philippines. We settled to celebrate it in Ice
Vodka Bar, located in Greenbelt 3, 3rd level Ayala Center, Makati City,
Metro Manila. It was my first time in that bar. Two in our group have been
there before and they had nothing bad to say about it. There were five of
us. I was leading the way. The bouncer stopped us. I asked why. His reason
was we were dressed "inappropriately". We were rather dressed decently,
tastefully, and most importantly just like any other human being who lives
her life as female 24 hours a day.

I asked for the manager. The bouncer was nice enough to let me in. The
manager, Ms Belle Castro, accommodated me. I don't know if I spelled her
name right. I asked for a business card but she had none available. Her
telling feature though was her braced teeth.

I complained. Ms Castro listened to me. I found her sympathetic, even
respectful as she addressed me all throughout as ma'am. She told me the

1. (Referring to my friends, and obviously to me) That "people like them"
aren't allowed in our bar every Fridays & Saturdays;

2. That that was an agreement between all the bars in Greenbelt (she
particularly mentioned their bar, Absinthe, and Café Havana) and Ayala
Corporation, the company which owns the Greenbelt Complex;

3. That the reason for this policy is: "Marami kasing foreigner na
nag-kocomplain at napepeke daw sila sa mga katulad nila." Loosely
translated in English: "There are lots of foreigners complaining because
they mistake people like them as real women"; and

4. That they have a "choice" to implement the policy.

I felt terribly hurt and uncontrollably agitated. This transphobic act is
not the first time that it happened to me, to my friends, to people like
us. To say that this has become almost a routine is an understatement.

I have shouted at Ms Castro several times, asking her why I'm f***ing
experiencing racism in my own country and what gave f***ing foreigners the
right to demand to block people like us to enter bars in our very own

Ms Castro tried to hush me by pulling the "It's our choice card" and asked
me to talk decently. I am not proud at all of using the F-word as my
intensifier and of letting my emotions ran raw and wild. My warm apologies
to Ms Castro for losing my cool. Just like any of us, I know, she was just
doing her job."

Is this just? Why do they prioritize foreigners instead of their fellow
Filipinos? If the letter sender is very much concerned about using the
F-word, I'm not. I use it loosely, so FUCK YA'LL bar and club owners who
discriminate against the third sex (the LGBT community expecially the
transvestites and transgenders) just to please the FUCKIN' foreigners. Fuck
you for being a xenophile.

So what if they bring in the dollars? Oh, fuck you for prioritizing them
for money and tourism, not minding if you've stepped on a fellow Filipino.
Fuck you for discriminating against your own blood. Shame on you. May you
rot with the foreigners you sacredly consider as gods.

I pity you as it shows that you are not well read and have not traveled to
other countries that much. The fact is that they treat Asians as the
"other"--they treat us as a third class citizen. Why prioritize someone who
treats you as his or her least priority?

Fuck you capitalists for discriminating against Filipinos. Shame on you for
being overwhelmed by your greed for money and urges to profit.

And lastly, shame on you bar and club managers who take on jobs even though
the management rules are against your principles.

I am infuriated.


are there any legal steps we could do about this? Being a transexual
myself, I'm afraid that if this happens to me personally, I really have no
idea on what to do. Please help.

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