#LabanHermie: U.P. community stands in solidarity with transwoman professor
MANILA, Philippines – UP Babaylan, an LGBTQ+ organization in the University of the Philippines, launched a signature campaign to show its support for Hermie Monterde, a transwoman professor who spoke about her experience of being discriminated in the workplace.
Using the hashtags #LabanHermie, #NoToDiscriminationInUP, and #SolidarityWithHermie, university organizations such as UP Alyansa and Akbayan Youth also posted the campaign on their social media pages.
According to James Montilla Doble, Education and Research Committee Head of UP Babaylan, they launched the campaign to let the LGBTQ+ community know that they are not alone. (READ: 'Tolerated, but not accepted': Filipino LGBTQ+ speak up vs discrimination)
“We want to let Prof. Monterde and the larger LGBTQ+ community know that we are with them in their fight,” said Montilla Doble.
As of this writing, the campaign has garnered more than 600 signatures from students, faculty and staff of the university.
In an interview with Rappler, Hermie confessed she had been experiencing discrimination from her colleagues ever since she started teaching in 2011, paired with her efforts to physicially transition from male to female.
“I thought I had a good start in the department. I made acquaintances with some interesting people and made a few good friends. Then I started to realize that my presence made some colleagues uncomfortable,” said Hermie.
The need for SOGIE Bill
As Hermie came forward with her experience, Doble stressed the need for the SOGIE Equality Bill to be passed.
The LGBTQ+ movement in the Philippines has lobbied for the enactment of the Anti-discrimination Bill. The legislation can be traced back to 1995 when Representative Rey Calalay filed a bill proposing to recognize the “third sex” as a sector. Since then, different legislators have followed suit. Two decades later, however, a national law protecting the LGBTQ+ remains elusive. (READ: [OPINION] Life without bullies? Why Senate must pass anti-discrimination bill)
At the university level, the UP Center for Women’s and Gender Studies together with UP Babaylan and Babaylanes, Inc. have drafted the UP SOGIESC policy (sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics) that aims to protect the UP community from discrimination based on SOGIESC.
“Professor Hermie’s story highlighted the work that still needs to be done,” said Montilla Doble.
Montilla Doble added, "UP, as an institution that stands for social justice, should be explicit in their support for the LGBTQ+ community by enacting policies that will make the university a safe space for everyone, regardless of their SOGIESC."
You can show your support for Hermie by signing here. – Rappler.com
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