'Gusto lang namin magbanyo': Ice Seguerra shares struggles of transgender community

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 14) — Singer Ice Seguerra on Wednesday shared his fears as a transgender man using public restrooms amid the discrimination experienced by a trans woman in a mall in Cubao, Quezon City.

Seguerra, a former chief of the National Youth Commission (NYC), shared how his personal struggles mirror the concerns of the transgender community. He said he isn't always sure which restroom to go to, especially when he is abroad.

"Honestly, this is one of my biggest fears whenever I'm out. Lalo na pag nasa Arabic countries ako. Pag sa pambabaeng banyo, ilang beses na akong pinalabas. And kung sa panlalaki naman, ang daming tanong, lalo na kung may mga Pinoy. Kapag may ASEAN events akong dinadaluhan nung nagtatrabaho ako sa NYC, hindi ako umiinom ng tubig buong araw kasi natatakot ako mag banyo," he shared on his Instagram account.

[Translation: This is one of my biggest fears whenever I'm out, especially if I'm in Arabic countries. If I go to women's restroom, they ask me to leave. If I go to the men's, there are a lot of questions, especially if there are Filipinos around. When I need to attend events for the NYC, I don't drink water the entire day because I'm scared to go to the restroom.]

He also addressed those who dismiss the arrest of transgender woman Gretchen Diez on Tuesday after she was barred from using a women’s comfort room in Farmers Plaza.

"This is a real concern. Na hanggat hindi mo pa nararanasan, isasawalang bahala mo lang...Para sa iba mababaw, pero hindi eh. Hindi mababaw 'yung pagtititnginan ka ng mga tao, lalo na 'yung papalabasin ka. Parang kinakain ako ng lupa sa tuwing nangyayari 'yun and what's worse is I don't feel safe," he wrote.

[Translation: If you don't experience it, you'd just dismiss it, but this is a real concern. For other's it's a shallow issue, but being looked down on and asked to leave a restroom is an issue. It makes you feel as though you want to disappear from embarassment. What's worse, I don't feel safe.]

Seguerra had a clear and simple message to those who discriminate members of the transgender community: Gusto lang namin magbanyo. [We just want to go to the bathroom.]”