For all the media attention “aggrieved” transgender person Gretchen Custodio Diez is getting, it seems nobody is giving embattled janitress Chayra Ganal fair coverage. According to the more popular account of what happened at the Farmers Plaza mall in Cubao, Quezon City last Wednesday, the 14th August, Diez, a transgender who identifies as female, was “forcibly” led out of a female public toilet by Ganal. Diez captured the incident on video before she was arrested and taken away by the police.
Not surprisingly, Diez’s side attracted disproportionate media coverage and social media traction. This is thanks to the enormous clout and traditional media connections brought to bear by the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Queer (LGBTQ) community into the “issue”. One will have otherwise expected that the plight of Ganal, a contractual employee of an agency providing services to Farmers Plaza mall, would attract the support of labour rights “activists” like Anakbayan and the League of Filipino Students (LFS) both of which had, in recent months, been actively campaigning against worker contractualisation.
It is worth exploring whether Ganal, aside from being the sort of case “labour activists” jump upon to further their advocacy, was also unfairly made a fall guy by Farmers Plaza management to wash themselves clean of any perception that they are less than the “LGBTQ-friendly” space they pitch themselves as. Quite convenient, of course, that Farmers Plaza enjoy the kind of plausible deniability that is, in actual fact, the whole point of keeping employees at an arm’s length using the very contractual agreements communist fronts like Anakbayan and the LFS rail about selectively.
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Indeed, the question is, who is the real victim here? Media and the “woke” crowd have, since this circus erupted, put up Diez as their latest adornment in their Altar of Victimhood and, in the process, demonised Ganal. Step back for a moment and take stock of what is really going on here. Diez has, watching her back, the awesome might of the Gay Lobby, the vast resources of Big Corporate Media, and a loud sponsor in Congress in the form of Rep. Geraldine Roman, who is deified by the “woke” crowd simply for being “the first transgender lawmaker” in Philippine history.
Roman, for her part is basking in this glory and milking the circus for all the media mileage it is worth, launching into a shrill barrage to fully exploit her very likely fleeting 15 minutes on her new-found soapbox.
WATCH: Rep Geraldine Roman chastises janitress for barring trans woman Gretchen Custodio Diez from entering the women's bathroom.
— Rappler (@rapplerdotcom) August 13, 2019
What does Chayra Ganal have going for her?
Not much. She is, as it happens, an object of persecution perpetrated by powerful people and groups — a victim by the ironic definition of the very people who persecute her today.
Congressperson Roman, for her part, likely needs a remedial class on what it means to be a member of Philippine Congress. Perhaps she owes her electoral victory to the powerful Gay Lobby but, as a sitting Member of Congress, she should consider the idea that there is more to the Philippines than the Gay Community. As such she really shouldn’t be “chastising” Ganal just because the cameras are rolling. Ganal is also a Filipino citizen after all and, ultimately, it is up to no less than a Philippine court to decide whether she had done anything unlawful.
For all the lip service the Gay Community had paid to equality and inclusiveness, it is quite rich seeing Roman, a powerful chieftain of their tribe behaving in such a tribal manner.
What happened to balanced, level-headed discourse? That sort of intelligent public debate has likely long been a casualty of the shrill “woke” chatter that dominates today’s political conversation and drowns out sensible notions — like fair coverage of the other side of the “issue”.
benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.