MANILA — Comedy superstar Vice Ganda, who is an outspoken advocate of LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) rights, believes that the solution to the debate on the use of public, gendered restrooms is to allot a separate area for members of the community.
The “It’s Showtime” host spoke up on the issue on Friday, in light of the controversial handcuffing and detainment of a trans woman, Gretchen Diez, when she entered the women’s restroom at a mall in Quezon City.
Vice Ganda, who has been calling on the government to pass the SOGIE (sexual orientation and gender identity and expression) bill, noted he was formerly against the idea of assigning a separate restroom for LGBTQ+ individuals.
“For as long as marunong tayo rumespeto ng kapwa, hindi magiging isyu kung saan tayo papasok. Pero since isyu siya, parang nag-iisip ako — dapat yata may CR (comfort room) na ‘yung mga LGBT,” he said.
Vice Ganda drew from experience in explaining his change of mindset, pointing out that even transgender individuals feel “unsafe” when using men or women restrooms.
Vice Ganda, who identifies as a gay man, shared that in using public restrooms, there tends to be mutual “discomfort” when some LGBTQ+ individuals use a traditionally assigned restroom.
“Pag pumasok kami sa CR ng lalaki, ‘yung mga lalaki, hindi komportable. At pag hindi komportable ‘yung lalaki, hindi rin kami komportable. So hindi na lang kami mag-si-CR, o kaya, ‘yung lalaki, hindi na lang papasok dahil may bakla o transgender doon sa CR nila,” he said, noting the same applies for women restrooms.
“Kaming LGBT, hindi kami komportable na hindi sila komportable, so isa sa amin mag-a-adjust, hindi na lang papasok. Kung hindi komportable ang isa’t-isa, huwag natin ipilit.
“Bakit hindi niyo na lang bigyan ng sariling CR ang LGBT, para may safe place? If men feel that they are unsafe, if women feel unsafe, and the LGBT community feels unsafe, then create a safe place for everyone,” he added.
Addressing the government, Vice Ganda went on: “Create a safe place for everyone. Kung hindi kami matatanggap, bigyan niyo kami ng CR. Gusto lang po namin umihi at dumumi.”
His co-host Anne Curtis, meanwhile, sang a different tune when asked how she feels whenever she happens to share a public restroom with a trans woman.
“Wala, okay lang. Babae ‘yung tingin ko sa kanya, kaya okay lang sa akin. Hindi ako natatakot, hindi ako nako-conscious, kasi never papasok sa isip ako na baka silipan ako nito o may gawing masama,” she said.