29 Apr Transwoman ‘pulverized’ in Brazilian prison

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JUAN SAYS: We have heard of discriminations against transgender, be it here in the Philippines and abroad. But by far this is the worst. We have always supported the transgenders in their fight to be treated fairly. By fairly we mean that even in the simple use of a dressing room or public comfort rooms, locker rooms and the like, a trans should be able to use what they are comfortable using. To go further, in prison, we would like to believe that transwomen should be placed in a woman’s correctional facility rather that for men’s specifically for this reason — their safety.
 
We have always adhered to the saying that if it looks like a duck, sounds like a duck then it must be a duck. Where on earth did it say here that the penis (or its counterpart in birds and fowl) or the lack of it is what makes a duck a drake? What we are trying to say is this, while we understand the arguments of people who identify gender through having a penis or a vagina, the reality is this, it takes beyond possessing a phallus to be considered a man, and we mean it in all aspects. For purposes of this article, we zero in on the transgenders.
 
We fear for their safety every time we hear stories that they were asked to take a pee inside men’s public toilets, we fear for their sanity whenever they are NOT allowed to change in women’s locker rooms, we fear that they may get mauled if we continue treating transwomen as men just because there is something hanging down there.
 
For all it is worth, transwomen are women too. Do we send our women inside public toilets for men? Do we send them to correctional facilities for men? WE JUST DON’T. So why treat the transwomen any different? That we don’t get.
 
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In Brazil, a transwoman in prison with men was badly beaten with her head shaved and stripped down naked after an altercation with the police. It was said that Veronica Bolina was attacked by prisoners which called the attention of the prison guards. In the squabble, Bolina allegedly bit the ear of one officer, which awarded her more punches and bruises on the face.
 
Isn’t this exactly what we have been talking about? Now it has happened. Shall we wait for something like this to happen in the Philippines before we address this problem? O papakialaman na naman ng simbahan? Anong bago dun.

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