Baguio pride month
forum focuses on transgender rights
BAGUIO CITY – Human
rights violations committed by the government and private parties
against transgender Filipinos may soon be subject to international
legal censure and corrective measures, if activists and lawyers
succeed in getting the attention of the United Nations.
milestone was revealed in “TRANSforming Views: The TRANSituation and
the Right to Live, Love, Be: a Forum on the Transgender Situation”
today at the University of the Philippines Baguio. The forum was
sponsored by the Lesbians for National Democracy and the UP Kasarian
Gender Studies Program as part of the LGBT Pride Month activities of
Baguio Pride Network.
Ms. Raye Baquirin,
Baguio Pride Network provided the social situation framework of
Transpinays or transexual Filipino women in the presentation
“TRANS101” a module popularized by the Society of Transexual Women
(STRAP) lined up the severe social barriers that transwomen face, and
proposed ideas on how the majority of Filipinos can break free of
misconceptions and actions that violate the rights of transwomen.
Atty. Evalyn Ursua
discussed the complaint filed by three Filipino transwomen with the
United Nations Human Rights Committee under the First Optional
Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,
with her as their legal counsel. According to Atty. Ursua, the
complaint focused on the refusal of the government to recognize the
change of their gender in legal documents and to address
discrimination in the public and private sectors.
confidence that the UN Human Rights Committee will make findings of
human rights violations against transsexuals by the Philippine
Government and direct it to pass laws and undertake other measures
addressing gender identity and discrimination based on sexual
orientation and gender identity.
included Carol Galvez of the Cordillera People’s
and Oscar Atadero of the Progressive Organization of Gays (PROGAY
Philippines), who both stressed the need for more advocacy
highlighting the needs of transgenders. Galvez zeroed in on the rising
incidences of hate crimes committed against transgenders in Metro
Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy
Casiño, spokesperson of the Makabayan coalition, sent a solidarity
message that urged the assembly to support the anti-discrimination
measure he filed in Congress, House Bill 1483, a proposal that would
help protect gender identity rights and help transgenders get free
access to many public facilities that are frequently denied them.
The forum is a runup
to the fifth lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Pride organized by
the Baguio Pride Network for June 26th along the city’s Session Road.