An attack on one is an attack to all.
Transgender woman Sass Rogando Sasot – the blogger behind For the Motherland, and now host of SMNI News’ Statecraft – alleged that she was “silenced” by a “Christian” organization because of her trans identity and support for President-elect Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos, Jr.
Earlier, Sasot was invited by the Southern Philippines Institute of Science & Technology to be its guest speaker for this year’s graduation ceremony. But according to Sasot’s post, the Church Of God Dasmariñas Cavite – which owned the venue of the graduation ceremony – ordered Southern Philippines Institute of Science & Technology to change the graduation guest speaker.
According to Sasot, it was relayed to her that “the Church of God doesn’t want me to speak to the graduation of students renting their venue because I am a woman of transgender experience, and that I am a BBM supporter. I was double canceled.”
But the university did not cave in to the demands of the Church Of God Dasmariñas Cavite, “even if (they) threatened that they will turn off the lights and sound system, and that they will not allow the graduation to finish.”
Based on the video recording now making the rounds in social media, the Church Of God Dasmariñas Cavite carried out its threat, with the lights and sound system turned off midway of Sasot’s speech.
There were also attempts to make Sasot leave the stage.
In response to what was happening in front of them, the students and their parents turned on their mobile phones to light up the hall so Sasot could finish her speech.
In a follow-up post, Sasot stressed: “Hindi po ako gumamit ng toilet na pambabae sa venue. Hindi rin ako nagsuot ng malaswa. Hindi ako nagsalita sa pulpito na gamit ng pastor, kundi sa podium ng eskwelahan. Wala po ako doon upang mangampanya. Ako ay naka-toga. Ako lamang po ay nagpaunlak na maging isang guest speaker sa isang SECULAR na gawain tungkol sa kung papaano maging resilient in the face of adversity gamit ang aking karanasan sa buhay dito sa Pilipinas at sa Europa. Hindi po ang message ko ang hindi nila gusto, kundi hindi tanggap ng may-ari ng venue na ang nagsasalita tungkol sa resilience in the face of adversity ay isang transgender woman.”
Cavite actually has an anti-discrimination ordinance, supposed to protect the human rights of LGBTQIA people.
Sasot, all the same, has no intention to file an official/legal complaint against the Church Of God Dasmariñas Cavite.
The Church Of God Dasmariñas Cavite has yet to address what transpired.