Bataan Representative Geraldine Roman, considered as the country’s first-ever transgender to be elected in office has given a stern warning to those who will mistakenly address her as congressman.
The 48-year-old Roman was among the 17th Congress lawmakers who attended outgoing House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte’s turnover of a Jose Rizal bronze bust and original copy of the 1935 Constitution to the House of Representative yesterday.
In a chance interview, Roman revealed her intention of filing a case against anyone who will address her as congressman.
“I am legally and anatomically a female,” stressed the neophyte legislator.
Roman underwent sex reassignment surgery at age 26 in New York and had her name as well as her gender legally changed. She has a Spanish man as partner though they still have to get married.
In the same interview, Roman vowed to back lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues during her stint as congresswoman.
These issues include same-sex union and the proposed Anti-Discrimination Act. The latter measure was introduced by Dinagat Islands Rep. Kaka Bag-ao at the start of the 16th Congress back in July 2013 and is yet to be passed.
Roman however admits that the chances of passing a bill on same-sex marriage is very slim.
“I’m just trying to be realistic here. If you want to pass same sex marriage, you have to more or less [test] the waters in Congress,” she said.
“Congress is a numbers game, and if you try to pass same sex marriage, baka hindi magprosper (it might not prosper).
I don’t think it’s going to be passed,”
Roman though feels that the more neutral term “civil union” might be acceptable to Filipino legislators.
“If you try to pass something that will not hurt the sensibilities, such as civil union, you might have a chance.”
The Philippines is the 5th largest Christian country in the world. (ELLSON A. QUISMORIO)