A Filipina transgender woman, Geraldine Roman, made history today for being the first out trans politician to be elected to federal government in the Philippines. She won a congressional seat representing the province of Bataan, which is north of the country's capital city Manila.
“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 today. “I’m elated, very, very happy. I’m also excited to work. I realize that the burden is bigger because the stereotype of people about the LGBT is we are frivolous, that we have nothing substantial to say, so I have to prove them wrong."
Roman's win is significant in a deeply Catholic nation where public figures including boxer-turned-politician Manny Pacquiao have made derogatory comments about LGBT people.
"If Jesus Christ was alive today, he would not approve of discrimination. I firmly believe that," she said, according to the BBC.
The seat she won was previously occupied by her mother, also a politician. Roman speaks five languages, has two masters degrees, and lived in Spain for several years where she worked as an editor for a news service.