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in PHILIPPINES, 28/02/2011

LADLAD Partylist denounces the transphobic act committed by a professor of University of the Philippines (U.P.) Diliman against a transsexual woman.

According to Ms. Hender Gercio, a junior undergraduate taking up European Languages and a transsexual woman, she talked to her professor on Advanced Spoken French Ms. Dominique "Nikki" Del Corro.

“Ms. Del Corro noticed me correcting my classmates whenever they referred to me using male pronouns. I told her that I identified and socially presented myself as female. She then asked me about my biological sex. I told her that my legal sex was male, but I argued that this was irrelevant and ultimately misleading because my legal sex did not accurately reflect my real-life identity - a transsexual female,” Gercio said.

Gercio was so dismayed and hurt because of Ms. Del Corro's comments. She should have not evoked her religious biases in treating her students especially to a transsexual woman like Gercio and in a secular university like U.P.

“Ms Del Corro believed that homosexuality is a sin and it was due to this reason that she cannot allow herself to accept and address me as female. I told her that I am a transgender and not a homosexual but that did not affect her stance,” Gercio added.

On the other hand, an LGBT group urges U.P. Babaylan, an LGBT student organization in U.P. to join hand-in-hand to have a dialogue with the university officials to create clear policies to address the needs of transsexual students, faculty and employees in the university.

According to Ms. Bemz Benedito, Chairperson of LADLAD and also a transsexual woman, the incident evidently shows how bigoted some people are when it comes to gender identity.

“Ms. Del Corro should apologize for the hurt she inflicted to Ms. Gercio’s dignity and sense of self-worth. There is really a need for a massive campaign and education to the people and even the educators on transsexualism. This is a testament that even Ms. Del Corro who is part of the academe doesn’t even know where we are coming from. And this is U.P., right?” Benedito asked.

LADLAD wishes that this case should be the last so that transsexual students can study free from any forms of biases and discrimination.

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