A transgender woman was handcuffed after attempting to use the women’s restroom in a shopping mall in the Quezon City area of Manila, the Phillippines, this week according to reports.
Gretchen Custodio Diez, 28, was entering the women’s restroom when Chair Ganal, a cleaning lady, refused to let her enter.
Diez live-streamed the bizarre moment on Facebook as she argued with Ganal, who you can hear telling her, “you still have a penis, remember that”.
The video footage shows Ganal taking Diez down to the basement where she was held inside of a room away from other shoppers. She was also seen attempting to take away Deiz’s phone, and appearing to strike her on the head while saying she would file a lawsuit against her.
According Rappler, a local media outlet, Manila Police arrived hours later at around 11:30pm and put Diez in handcuffs before taking her to the police station.
Diez was released after Ganal dropped charges against her and sent an apology letter saying she had “made a mistake”.
“I am only human. It was not my intention to offend her,” the letter stated. I am willing to study the rights of the LGBT [community.] That is all. I am sorry.”
Diez said in a statement: “For me, it was like I was a shoplifter being dragged inside the mall, with people looking at me as I was being held. I could not understand how, in a supposedly gender-fair city, there is a person who would treat me like I committed [a] crime.”
Joy Belmonte, the Mayor of Quezon City, criticized the shopping mall and said that the city would work to protect the rights of the LGBT community.
The Phillippines is one of the most LGBTQ+ friendly countries worldwide, but there are still no anti-discrimination laws to protect those within the community.