Film Development Council of the Philippines chairperson Liza Dino shared her sentiments regarding the controversial "transgender bathroom" issue during the media launch of the first CineMarya Festival last March 24 at the Cinematheque Center Manila.
Discussion on the construction of "gender-neutral" toilets to attain equal rights for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community was raised nationwide.
It was also touched during the recent Binibining Pilipinas 2018 pageant, with Miss Intercontinental-Philippines 2018 Karen Gallman receiving a question about it. She drew reactions from netizens who perceived her answer for promoting isolation instead of equality.
"I definitely agree that there should be a third restroom for transgenders because as women, we would also want our privacy, and also with men," Karen answered. "We have a separate room for the transgenders. It just serves as equality, [privacy.] Thank you."
The beauty queen has already clarified her response on Instagram last March 19:
"If I had my moment again with the composure I needed in those 30 seconds....The words that didn’t resonate for me in that moment were to be 'Yes I believe there should be a third restroom for transgender. However, only as an alternative, for those who are yet to fully embrace such a transitional change. Everyone is equal no matter what shape, sex, religion or race but in today's world, its upsetting that we still have discrimination.'"
Speaking on behalf of her husband, former National Youth Commission chairman Ice Serguerra, previously known as Aiza Seguerra, the theater actress-turned-government official then shared the importance of having gender-neutral restrooms in the country.
Liza said, “Isa sa mga pinagdadaanan niya (Ice Seguerra) lagi ay kung saang CR siya pupunta. Kasi dito sa Pilipinas, syempre kilala siya bilang si Aiza Seguerra, pero kung nasa ibang bansa siya kapag pumasok siya sa restroom ng babae, papalabasin siya kasi mukha siyang lalaki.”
She furthered, “Minsan ayaw na niyang umihi. Mas pinipili na lang niyang umihi sa bahay. Minsan naman syempre bilang lalaki kapag pumasok siya sa male restroom he is opening himself up to scrutiny. That’s where my answer’s coming from. I think it’s good to have gender-neutral restrooms. Na pwedeng pasukan ng babae, lalaki, at ng mga taong hindi kumportableng pumunta sa CR ng babae o ng lalaki.”
Meanwhile, Liza also stressed the importance of having the right education in order to fully understand the LGBT community.
“It has to start from awareness and education,” she explained. “Meron tayong tinatawag na SOGIE workshop, sexual-orientation-gender-identity-and-expression workshop. Kung saan nagbibigay tayo ng awareness workshop sa iba't ibang sektor ng lipunan para pag-usapan kung paano ba sila mas magiging sensitibo sa iba't ibang genders.”
Ice came out as a transgender man on the defunct ABS-CBN talk show, "Aquino & Abunda Tonight" in 2014. Since then he and Liza became active advocates of the LGBT community.