Catriona Gray airs support for SOGIE bill, slams arrest of transgender woman in QC

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Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray will not take discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community sitting down. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 15) — Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray will not take discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community sitting down.

The beauty queen spoke on Instagram on Thursday condemning the recent arrest of transgender woman Gretchen Diez at a mall in Quezon City, a city which has an existing ordinance against gender discrimination.

Gray said the incident underscores the need to pass the Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Gender Expression (SOGIE) Equality Bill.

“Last night's incident involving a transgender woman being prohibited from using the women's washroom and resulting in being escorted off premises in handcuffs by local police only highlights further, the Philippines need for implementation of the #SOGIEEqualityBill,” Gray’s post said.

The SOGIE Bill seeks to penalize all forms of discrimination based on a person’s SOGIE. Senator Risa Hontiveros, author of the measure, refiled the bill in the Senate last June.

On Tuesday, Diez was denied use of the women’s comfort room at the Farmers Plaza mall by a female mall staff. She was then handcuffed and brought to the Quezon City Police District Station 7 for unjust vexation, a complaint initially filed against her for recording a confrontation between her and the mall staff.

“The whole argument of shifting the blame to the victim for reasons of being trans to justify abuse - is still victim blaming and IS NOT RIGHT,” Gray argued.

Gray further detailed suggestions that would alleviate the plight of LGBTQs against unjust treatment, including educational drives on the needs of the community and a “SOGIE workplace policy.”

“Ang LGBTQ + ay nakikipaglaban para sa kanilang mga karapatan - ang karapatan sa kaligtasan, proteksyon at pagkakapantay-pantay - ay laban din natin,” the queen argued.

[Translation: The LGBTQ+ is fighting for their rights - their right to safety, protection and equality - is also our fight.]

Gray has been a proud advocate for gender equality. Just last week, she attended a campus dialogue event in South Africa to discuss LGBTQs.

Previously, she has also promoted Pride Month, an international event that celebrates the LGBTQ+ community. She has also spread messages of love and support on her online platforms for the community.