A transgender woman has been elected into the congress in Philippines, the first time ever a transgender has occupied such a position in the history of the country.
Liberal Party candidate Geraldine Roman beat her closest rival in the congressional district of Bataan, winning 62% of the unofficial vote count with 99% of precincts reporting.
49 year old Roman, has been living as a woman for the past two decades and has a male partner.
After her victory in Monday’s election, Roman is being hailed by the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community as a source of hope in a country where Church influence means divorce, abortion and same-sex marriage are banned.
Philippines, a catholic dominated country, with this election, have made significant progress in it’s LGBT community awareness, given that not too recently popular boxer Manny Pacquiao made some homophobic slurs which sparked outrage n the country.
“The politics of bigotry, hatred and discrimination did not triumph. What triumphed was the politics of love, acceptance and respect,” Roman said after her victory for a seat in Congress representing the farming province of Bataan, just northwest of Manila.
“I’m elated; very, very happy. I’m also excited to work. I realise that the burden is bigger because the stereotype of [LGBT] people … is we are frivolous, that we have nothing substantial to say, so I have to prove them wrong,” she said.