On International Women’s Day, Ladlad Partylist Chairperson Bemz Benedito received recognition as one of four Global Transgender Heroes who advanced the LGBT movement in different parts of the world.
The True Colors Fund, a US-based nonprofit organization catering to the needs of homeless LGBT youths, named Benedito, along with three other transgender women: Lohana Berkins of Argentina, Cecilia Chung of the US and Hong Kong, and Liesl Theron of South Africa.
In an interview with the Inquirer, she acknowledged that the movement still had a long way to go in the Philippines.
“In an egalitarian society that has passed the Magna Carta for Women, Indigenous Peoples Rights Act, Violence Against Women and Children, the LGBT community is ignored and discriminated.”
As reported in Rappler, members of the LGBT community still do not have a national anti-discrimination bill to protect them, despite efforts of several past and present officials to pass the bill in the predominantly Catholic country.
In 2010, the Supreme Court overturned the Comelec’s decision to disqualify Ang Ladlad from running as a political party. Despite the implications of its success, Ang Ladlad did not get the minimum two percent of votes cast for party-list groups in the 2010 and the 2013 elections.
As consequence, Ang Ladlad was one of the 38 party-lists delisted for this year’s elections after failing to secure the required votes in 2010 and 2013, according to a Rappler report.
Photo accessed from Outrage Magazine.