Transgender woman hopes to take a seat in the Philippines’ parliament

This photo taken on April 30, 2016 shows legislator candidate Geraldine Roman (C-in yellow) greeting supporters during a campaign trip to the town of Orani, Bataan province, north of Manila. The 49-year-old Roman, a member of a powerful political family, is a strong chance to win a seat in the nation's lower house in the May 9 election, in what would be a remarkable breakthrough for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. / AFP / TED ALJIBE / TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY Ayee Macaraig (Photo credit should read TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images)

Geraldine Roman says she wants to overcome prejudice and discrimination in her country to be elected. If elected, she would be the first trans person to be elected to a public office in the Philippines.

She hopes to win a seat in the national congress in Bataan, northern Philippines.Roman says she is running a serious campaign, and that her popularity is based on her policies and experience.Her mother previously held the seat, and served a maximum of three terms.“The ideal situation is where gender is not an issue and we can focus on the platform, the agenda and the personality and the character of each candidate,” Roman told Reuters.
“That’s what is important, not the gender really,” she adds.Whether elected or not, her popularity and campaign are in themselves a breakthrough in the staunchly Catholic country.While the Catholic church in the Philippines has not made a strong stand against trans issues, it has spoken out against equal marriage. Roman says she has been smeared by rival candidates, she said, but has still received a friendly reception from the public.


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