Transgender politician makes history, wins congressional seat

REPRESENTATIVE. Geraldine Roman makes Philippine history as the first transgender member of the House of Representatives. Photo from Geraldine Roman's Facebook page.

REPRESENTATIVE. Geraldine Roman makes Philippine history as the first transgender member of the House of Representatives. Photo from Geraldine Roman's Facebook page.

MANILA, Philippines - In a country where legislators compare couples in same-sex unions as "worse than animals," or where members of the LGBT community are told to go to another planet, Geraldine Roman makes history.

Roman won the first legislative district of Bataan on Monday, May 9, to become the first transgender to ever be elected in the House of Representatives. (READ: Transgender politician poised for historic win in Catholic Philippines)

Partial and unofficial results as of 3:28 AM on May 10 show Roman of the Liberal Party (LP) triumphant with 104,287 votes (62%) compared to Danilo Malana of the Aksyon Demokratiko Party, who received 63,881 votes (38%).

The first congressional district of Bataan comprises the municipalities of AbucayDinalupihanHermosaMorongOrani, and Samal.

Roman is the daughter of former Bataan Representative Antonino "Tony" Roman, who served 3 consecutive terms in the 11th to 13th Congress, from 1998 to 2007. He was also appointed by President Benigno Aquino III as the head of the Presidential Legislative Liaison Office (PLLO) from 2010 to 2012.

LGBT rights in PH

While some local government units have enacted ordinances to protect minority groups from discrimination, notably Davao City in 2012, Quezon City in 2014, and Mandaue in 2016, there is still much work to be done before a national anti-discrimination measure will be passed by Congress

Roman previously said “The goal of all LGBTs is someday, hindi pag-uusapan yung genders, but yung (we don’t talk about gender but) qualifications because we can contribute to the growth of our country." (READ: 'Bayoy, bakla' don't mean 'weak,' transgender tells Duterte)

Will having a representative in Congress help bring this ideal closer to fruition? Will Roman champion the anti-discrimination bill in Congress? Only time will tell.  - Rappler.com