The Philippines Just Elected Its First Trans Woman to Congress
The Philippines made historic strides Tuesday with the election of its first openly trans politician to federal government.
Filipina transgender woman Geraldine Roman won the congressional seat for the province of Bataan, north of the nation's capital Manila.
"The politics of bigotry, hatred, and discrimination did not triumph. What triumphed was the politics of love, acceptance, and respect," Roman said after her historic win on Tuesday.
"I'm elated, very, very happy. I'm also excited to work. I realize that the burden is bigger because the stereotype of people about the LGBT is we are frivolous, that we have nothing substantial to say, so I have to prove them wrong."
Roman's historic election comes at a time when divorce, same-sex marriage, and abortion are still deemed illegal in the Philippines and conservative church dogma continues to fire up in Filipino politics.
In 2001, a law was passed blocking transgender Filipinos from changing their name and sex. But Roman vows to lift those restrictions. She also plans to propose an anti-discrimination bill that ensures equal treatment for all members of the LGBT community.
Congratulatory messages spread quickly across social media as users discussed what Roman's win means for the LGBT community. See reactions from the social media community below and peek through our gallery above to see Roman's journey on the campaign trail.
Geraldine Roman's paving the way for us Southeast Asian trans women by being the 1st openly trans person to hold office in the Philippines!!
— Den Den (@DenCavill) May 9, 2016
— Jan Pavel (@JanusPaulus) May 9, 2016
— Ryan L. (@rylintao) May 9, 2016
— Ate Quitz (@atequitz) May 9, 2016
With the beautiful ms. Geraldine Roman!!! pic.twitter.com/254GFvwp43
— Charm Suva Alfonso (@charmalfonso) April 22, 2016
Photo Credit: TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images