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People Like Us: An Open Letter of a Transgender Woman in the Philippines

***PLEASE PASS***

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. - Eleanor Roosevelt

My friends and I have been made to feel inferior approximately five hours before I wrote this letter. I’d like to sweep this incident under the proverbial rug but there is no more space to accommodate it.

On the 24th of May 2008, my friends and I were celebrating the anniversary of our organization the Society of Transsexual Women of the Philippines (STRAP), the first transsexual women’s support group and transgender rights advocacy organization in the Philippines. We settled to celebrate it in Ice Vodka Bar, located in Greenbelt 3, 3rd level Ayala Center, Makati City, Metro Manila. It was my first time in that bar. Two in our group have been there before and they had nothing bad to say about it.

There were five of us. I was leading the way. The bouncer stopped us. I asked why. His reason was we were dressed “inappropriately”. We were rather dressed decently, tastefully, and most importantly just like any other human being who lives her life as female 24 hours a day.

I asked for the manager. The bouncer was nice enough to let me in. The manager, Ms Belle Castro, accommodated me. I don’t know if I spelled her name right. I asked for a business card but she had none available. Her telling feature though was her braced teeth.

I complained. Ms Castro listened to me. I found her sympathetic, even respectful as she addressed me all throughout as ma’am. She told me the following:

1. (Referring to my friends, and obviously to me) That “people like them” aren’t allowed in our bar every Fridays & Saturdays;

2.That that was an agreement between all the bars in Greenbelt (she particularly mentioned their bar, Absinthe, and Café Havana) and Ayala Corporation, the company which owns the Greenbelt Complex;

3.That the reason for this policy is: “Marami kasing foreigner na nag-kocomplain at napepeke daw sila sa mga katulad nila.” Loosely translated in English: “There are lots of foreigners complaining because they mistake people like them as real women”; and

4.That they have a “choice” to implement the policy.

I felt terribly hurt and uncontrollably agitated. This transphobic act is not the first time that it happened to me, to my friends, to people like us. To say that this has become almost a routine is an understatement.

I have shouted at Ms Castro several times, asking her why I’m f***ing experiencing racism in my own country and what gave f***ing foreigners the right to demand to block people like us to enter bars in our very own country.

Ms Castro tried to hush me by pulling the “It’s our choice card” and asked me to talk decently. I am not proud at all of using the F-word as my intensifier and of letting my emotions ran raw and wild. My warm apologies to Ms Castro for losing my cool. Just like any of us, I know, she was just doing her job.

This may not be the proper forum to raise this concern. But is there any reliable legal forum to address this issue? Reality check: there is no antidiscrimination law in this country. And if you’re discriminated, there seems to be a notion that you’re supposed to blame yourself for bringing such an unfortunate event to yourself.

So, I’d just stand up through this open letter.

I am standing for myself. I am standing for people like us. I am standing up because I, am, very, tired of this incivility. We have long endured this kind of treatment for far too long. Enough.

I’ll not go as far as campaigning for a boycott as it is definitely the simple workers that would suffer from any loss in revenue such an act may cause.

People like us would like to be treated just like any other human being. Just like those foreigners who complained about our existence: With dignity.

You know the civilized and ethical thing to do: Stop discrimination in your establishments.

Bigotry is never ethical nor a sound business strategy.


Warmly
Ms Sass Rogando Sasot

Comments

  • Mga Puutangiinang Bars Yan....pinapahalagahan Pa Ang Mga Lintek Na Foreigner Kesa Sarili Nilang Lahing Pilipino!!!

    Kung Napepeke Ang Mga Foreigner Yun Ay Dahil Mga Booboo At Taanngaa Sila....

    dApat Mga Foreigner Ang Iban Nila Kasi Obviuosly Nagpupunta Lang Mga Foreigner Sa Bansa Natin Para Maghanap Ng Babae Dahil Ang Alam Nila Madali Silang Makakuha Ng Babaeng Pilipina!!!!!
  • Paging terrorists! Calling callin!

    If you want a bourgeois/infidel/whatever establishment to target, you have one now, baby!
  • Aranda_BayAranda_Bay PEx Veteran ⭐⭐
    ^
    Just for not allowing a bunch of tranny hookers you're gonna bomb the establishment?

    I say, paging Jack The Ripper...
  • Wtf Are You Doing Here Aranda Gay? I Hope Youre Not Trying To Protect Your Own Kind?hehe!:D
  • Aranda_BayAranda_Bay PEx Veteran ⭐⭐
    ^
    Just trying to get rid of your dad and his kind.

    Please post in Cebuano okay?
  • Aranda_Bay wrote: »
    ^
    Just trying to get rid of your dad and his kind.

    Please post in Cebuano okay?
    NABISTO BA KITA?HAHHAHAHHAHHAAAAA!!!!:rotflmao:
  • Ahehehe tranny
  • Aranda_BayAranda_Bay PEx Veteran ⭐⭐
    nocram wrote: »
    Wtf Are You Doing Here Aranda Gay? I Hope Youre Not Trying To Protect Your Own Kind?hehe!:D

    Mukhang yung alternick mo yung kumampi sa mga Tranny. Pinagtanggol siguro tatay mo.
    d_red_tab wrote: »
    Mga Puutangiinang Bars Yan....pinapahalagahan Pa Ang Mga Lintek Na Foreigner Kesa Sarili Nilang Lahing Pilipino!!!

    Kung Napepeke Ang Mga Foreigner Yun Ay Dahil Mga Booboo At Taanngaa Sila....

    dApat Mga Foreigner Ang Iban Nila Kasi Obviuosly Nagpupunta Lang Mga Foreigner Sa Bansa Natin Para Maghanap Ng Babae Dahil Ang Alam Nila Madali Silang Makakuha Ng Babaeng Pilipina!!!!!

    Teka...baka si d_red_tab ang tatay mo?
  • make up you mind TRANNY!ano ba talaga?alternick or tatay?HAHAHA!
  • bJbJ PExer
    u guys are missing the whole issue.
  • Aranda_Bay wrote: »
    Mukhang yung alternick mo yung kumampi sa mga Tranny. Pinagtanggol siguro tatay mo.



    Teka...baka si d_red_tab ang tatay mo?

    napakawalang kwenta na ang mga sinasabi nitong manile?ong ito...

    pinipilit mo pa kaming magcebuano dito eh hindi ka nga makaintindi ng cebuano...kami magaling magtagalog...ikaw tagalog lang ang alam bwahahahahahahaha

    tangalog ka nga pala bwahahahahaa
  • i hate the fact that some bars do that. it's true, discrimination is alive and well here in the Philippines.

    some bars bend over backward just for money. palibhasa kasi mas malaki nga magbayad ang mga taga-ibang bansa.

    be comforted in the fact that you are not alone in your plight. sa ibang bars, basta Pilipino ka, kahit anong sexual orientation mo at kahit napakaayos ng bihis mo, hindi ka pa rin papapasukin.

    it's just infuriating. :grrr:
  • bJ wrote: »
    u guys are missing the whole issue.
    you just dont have any idea what going on!hehe! sorry!
  • rickymrickym PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
    bJ wrote: »
    ***PLEASE PASS***

    No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. - Eleanor Roosevelt

    My friends and I have been made to feel inferior approximately five hours before I wrote this letter. I’d like to sweep this incident under the proverbial rug but there is no more space to accommodate it.......

    i would want to make it clear that i have nothing against gays or transsexuals, in fact i have been defending them in 'realm of thought' for several months or even years. what i do dislike is when they try to pass themselves off as heterosexuals.

    not all transsexuals or homosexuals do this. but mind you for the heterosexuals they fool, it is quite 'traumatic'. i normally can tell even from the back view if one is a homosexual or not, but nowadays even i have been a victim. i accidentally dated one only to be told by a waitress who was in the same bar that she is quite sure that my date was a homosexual. we were still friends after, and yes even after she flirted with me and after she asked if i was also gay, it seemed that she had a crush on me.

    i had an in-law who is a european, and after he separated from my cousin would venture in the makati areas not far from what you mentioned. he would be so fooled that he would end up inviting the gay up to his bedroom. he would just send her off when she would say "i'm sorry i have my period now, but i would gladly take it in my behind". luckily he was never fooled, but i had heard that someone in boracay had been fooled and even boasted of his exploit(yes they had sex) only to be told that he had had sex with a gay. humurous yes, but also very 'traumatic'.

    here is another example from my blog
    http://rickym.blogspot.com/2006/08/close-encounters-of-third-sex.html
    " Close Encounters of the Third Sex

    I have always been amused at the third sex. Fo me, they bring variety to life. They are one example of how feminacy can be added to men, and masculinity can be added to women. I don't mind conversing to them, unless they show too much physical interest in me.

    There is however one activity which some of them exhibit which I find very irritating, if not traumatic. I have been a victim of this more than once. I as well as a few others have been a victim of misrepresentation. This is when a gay poses as a heterosexual to heterosexuals until it is too late. How often have we heard of stories of heterosexuals flirt, date or in some cases even be on with homosexuals who have passed themselves off as heterosexuals.

    James(not his real name) was wondering in Malate one day when he chanced upon a new barber shop. Being curious, he asked what were the other services. The person-in-charge said that upstairs on the second floor, the customers may also have a massage. While being brought to the second floor, James noticed one of the masseurs talking on her cellphone. James decided to have a massage and requested the masseur talking on the phone. The woman gave a reasonably good massage and they would continue having a very nice conversation. She was very friendly, and James even requested that they go out on a date on one of her off-days. The masseur obliged. Midway through the session, the woman asked if James was gay. James answered that he was not. Both continued talking for the next five minutes. James then also asked the masseur if she was gay. She unhesitatingly answered yes.

    It can't be true, James thought. Was this a joke? He took a quick glance at her throat, hmm, no adams apple. He looked at her groin. Uh-oh, baggy pants. When was the last time anyone saw baggy pants nowadays. He asked to see her legs. No hair and very smooth! He asked again if she was gay, and this time she denied it. By this time, he was already being massaged in his buttocks. This is not time to be aroused. James thought that if he did, he would be confused with his gender for the rest of his life. Thank god, James isn't homophobic or he would have raced out of the room. Then the woman stopped, and said "I think I have to shave". She was touching her chin. James touched the chin and there was a prominent stub which he felt on his fingers.

    Whenever James walks by the massage parlor, he smiles at his masseur. She sometimes hangs just outside the barber shop by the road. One day she was gone. James asked the others masseurs if they knew that she was gay. Seems no one knew the whole time until she left."

    how about this. do you feel this is reasonable?
    gays and transsexuals be allowed in bars, but they should openly state to the person they are flirting with that they are gay.
  • bJ wrote: »
    ***PLEASE PASS***

    No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. - Eleanor Roosevelt

    My friends and I have been made to feel inferior approximately five hours before I wrote this letter. I’d like to sweep this incident under the proverbial rug but there is no more space to accommodate it.

    On the 24th of May 2008, my friends and I were celebrating the anniversary of our organization the Society of Transsexual Women of the Philippines (STRAP), the first transsexual women’s support group and transgender rights advocacy organization in the Philippines. We settled to celebrate it in Ice Vodka Bar, located in Greenbelt 3, 3rd level Ayala Center, Makati City, Metro Manila. It was my first time in that bar. Two in our group have been there before and they had nothing bad to say about it.

    There were five of us. I was leading the way. The bouncer stopped us. I asked why. His reason was we were dressed “inappropriately”. We were rather dressed decently, tastefully, and most importantly just like any other human being who lives her life as female 24 hours a day.

    I asked for the manager. The bouncer was nice enough to let me in. The manager, Ms Belle Castro, accommodated me. I don’t know if I spelled her name right. I asked for a business card but she had none available. Her telling feature though was her braced teeth.

    I complained. Ms Castro listened to me. I found her sympathetic, even respectful as she addressed me all throughout as ma’am. She told me the following:

    1. (Referring to my friends, and obviously to me) That “people like them” aren’t allowed in our bar every Fridays & Saturdays;

    2.That that was an agreement between all the bars in Greenbelt (she particularly mentioned their bar, Absinthe, and Café Havana) and Ayala Corporation, the company which owns the Greenbelt Complex;

    3.That the reason for this policy is: “Marami kasing foreigner na nag-kocomplain at napepeke daw sila sa mga katulad nila.” Loosely translated in English: “There are lots of foreigners complaining because they mistake people like them as real women”; and

    4.That they have a “choice” to implement the policy.

    I felt terribly hurt and uncontrollably agitated. This transphobic act is not the first time that it happened to me, to my friends, to people like us. To say that this has become almost a routine is an understatement.

    I have shouted at Ms Castro several times, asking her why I’m f***ing experiencing racism in my own country and what gave f***ing foreigners the right to demand to block people like us to enter bars in our very own country.

    Ms Castro tried to hush me by pulling the “It’s our choice card” and asked me to talk decently. I am not proud at all of using the F-word as my intensifier and of letting my emotions ran raw and wild. My warm apologies to Ms Castro for losing my cool. Just like any of us, I know, she was just doing her job.

    This may not be the proper forum to raise this concern. But is there any reliable legal forum to address this issue? Reality check: there is no antidiscrimination law in this country. And if you’re discriminated, there seems to be a notion that you’re supposed to blame yourself for bringing such an unfortunate event to yourself.

    So, I’d just stand up through this open letter.

    I am standing for myself. I am standing for people like us. I am standing up because I, am, very, tired of this incivility. We have long endured this kind of treatment for far too long. Enough.

    I’ll not go as far as campaigning for a boycott as it is definitely the simple workers that would suffer from any loss in revenue such an act may cause.

    People like us would like to be treated just like any other human being. Just like those foreigners who complained about our existence: With dignity.

    You know the civilized and ethical thing to do: Stop discrimination in your establishments.

    Bigotry is never ethical nor a sound business strategy.


    Warmly
    Ms Sass Rogando Sasot

    Dude, no matter how much surgery you have done, you will still be a man. You were created by HIM as a man and you will die as a man. You were rightly thrown out of that bar because they don't want your kind in their bar. It will get a rep as a queer bar and kill its business. Just because you have had some body work doesn't mean you are now a woman. Wake UP!!!
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