Dear straights: please stop blocking the SOGIE Bill when “Aling Susan” still exists

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Screenshot from Facebook: Alexis Hart Garcia

Throwing rocks out of rage may be an isolated case, but the hate and harassment definitely aren’t.

That’s exactly what transgender woman Alexis Hart Garcia, one of the founders of Transpinay of Antipolo Organization (TAO), experienced at the hands of “Aling Susan,” an elderly woman who went viral for harassing the former last November 5.

In a video that Alexis posted on her Facebook, an elderly woman can be seen verbally harassing Alexis who was only passing by to get to SM Masinag to have lunch. The woman, who was only identified as “Aling Susan,” was calling Alexis and her friend homophobic slurs while threatening to hurt or even shoot them.

Umalis ka ritobaklaalis, I won’t talk to you”, “bakla kaimpyerno ka”, “huwag kang dadaan dito para hindi kita makita…pangit kabakla ka” — these were just some of the abhorrent remarks that the woman threw to Alexis. And if those weren’t enough, she even hurled a rock towards the transgender woman, while repeatedly telling her to “get out.”

If you’re wondering why Alexis handled the situation with much control and composure, that’s because this isn’t her first encounter with Aling Susan. “Malayo pa lang kami, narinig ko na may pinagsasasabi siya. Pagdaan namin, sabi niya dumaan na naman ang mga bad spirit, ang sarap-sarap pagbabarilin,” Alexis told in an interview with ABS-CBN News. 

As soon as the video went viral, Alexis took matters into her hands right away by filing a discrimination complaint through barangay councilor Kristine Ibardolaza of Barangay Mayamot, the area where the incident took place.

However, Aling Susan was a no-show at the hearing. Only two of her children showed up, who disclosed that their mother has a persisting extreme bipolar condition. When Alexis asked for medical evidence of the persisting condition, the family could not provide any, stating that the doctor is “private.”

Stubborn cis-heterosexuals have exhausted every excerpt from the Bible when speaking out against the SOGIE Bill — yes, excerpt, because at best, they are only mistakenly chosen, misinterpreted extracts. 

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“But straights get discriminated too,” they add, which only ever confirms their own confusion. Imagine speaking against a protective law that seeks to prevent crime… by saying those crimes happen on a broader scale.

They also shoot down the need for “special laws” because, and according to a lawyer, the LGBTQ+ community has become a “super special elite class compared to the rest of the society.” But isn’t the rock-throwing, LGBT-cursing Aling Susan part of the same society they’re talking about?

To those who would even attempt to save face by saying this is an isolated case, that still one too many. Besides, it doesn’t make it less of a crime, and it’s still something that the SOGIE Bill could very well respond to. 

But while we’re not over them, the fight extends way beyond these bigots, and towards the bigger bigots who can sign bills into laws, but wouldn’t the SOGIE Bill. Yes, we mean the stubborn straights in office who would rather let a murderer free than stand with their own citizens. 

But there’s a slight good to come out of releasing a transphobic killer: the realization that genuine change is less about pushing knowledge into bigoted brains, and more about pushing people out of absolutely corrupted power. 

We can debate tenets all day, but until protests reach the magnitude of policy change, then the body count will just keep piling up. And it will not be long before the Aling Susans of the world will again block our proverbial paths as society tries to go where it’s supposed to be. 

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