Assaulted trans woman in viral video backs SOGIE bill

Jervis Manahan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 10 2020 05:32 AM | Updated as of Nov 10 2020 11:11 AM

MANILA - Trans woman Alexis Hart Garcia has filed a complaint against "Aling Susan", the elderly woman who went viral on social media last week.

In a video that widely circulated online, Aling Susan was seen verbally assaulting Alexis, who was on her way to a mall to have lunch that time.

Aling Susan even blasted expletives, threw a rock, and even threatened that she'll have Alexis killed simply for being "gay".

"Malayo pa lang kami, narinig ko na may pinagsasasabi siya. Pagdaan namin, sabi niya dumaan na naman ang mga bad spirit, ang sarap-sarap pagbabarilin," Alexis said.

She says this is not the first time the woman harassed her, as they are neighbors who would normally run to each other.

"Meron minsan na dumadaan ako at nagdidilig siya ng halaman, sinasadya niya akong basain ng hose niya. Lagi ang tanong ko sa kanya is, 'Bakit po ba galit na galit kayo sakin? Ano po bang masamang nagawa ko?' At tanging sagot niya sakin, 'Kasi bakla ka. Kasi impiyerno ka,'" Alexis said.

As a defense, Alexis took a video of the incident, and warned Aling Susan that she'll upload it on social media.

While most netizens have supported Alexis and consoled her for the unfortunate incident, some criticized her for not taking the high ground.

"Ang masasabi ko lang po sa mga nagsasabi na dapat binalewala ko na lang, tao lang din po tayo, for 10 years ko kinimkim yung pangungutya at pambubully niya sakin."

Barangay officials are looking into the matter.

Aling Susan has yet to issue a statement, but a barangay official confirmed to ABS-CBN News that two of her family members reached out to express willingness to settle things with Alexis.

But for the victim, it's not just a petty fight, and there is a larger context to the issue.

Discrimination

Alexis said this is a clear example of discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community.

For her, it's time for victims of discrimination to come out and tell their stories.

"Hindi lahat ng bakla, bayot, transgender ay may boses. Pinapalakas lang ako ng suporta ng kaibigan at pamilya ko. Pero alam ko sa sarili ko na mahina ako at di ko kaya ang mga bully gaya ni Aling Susan."

This is why she is also advocating for the passage of the hotly-contested SOGIE bill, which has languished for decades at the lower house.

"Ang tanging hinihiling lang namin ay mabigyan ng proteksyon para hindi kami ma-agrabyado ng mga taong katulad ni Aling Susan. Paano namin maipaglalaban ang sarili namin kung walang batas?" Alexis added.

The SOGIE bill aims to protect the LGBTQ+ community from discrimination and harassment.

Several lawmakers and sectoral representatives have supported the measure, but conservatives and religious groups have staunchly campaigned against it.

"All of us are against discrimination, pero dapat suriin baka diyan may nadidiscriminate tayo na major communities tulad ng straight community," said CIBAC Party-list Rep. Eddie Villanueva.

Villanueva said there are enough laws to penalize anyone who will discriminate or harass the LGBTQ+ community.

"Nandiyan ang civil code, revised penal code, administrative code."

However Bataan Rep. Geraldine Roman, the first transgender to be elected in the House, disputed this.

"The sad fact is maraming LGBT ang pinagkakaitan ng karapatan na tinatawag nyong special privileges. Enough saying we have laws, we don't have enough laws," Roman said.

ABS-CBN News has reached out to the family of Aling Susan but has to receive a response yet as of posting.

Nevertheless, Alexis said she'll not stop fighting as this issue is already beyond her.

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