May 9, 2016 at 2:05 pm EDT | by Michael K. Lavers
Transgender woman elected to Philippine Congress

Geraldine Ramos, gay news,, Washington Blade

Geraldine Ramos is the first openly LGBT person elected to the Philippine Congress. (Photo courtesy of Dindi Tan)

A transgender woman on Monday became the first openly LGBT person elected to the Philippine Congress.

With nearly 90 percent of the votes tallied, Geraldine Roman defeated Danny Malana by a 96,004 – 59,428 vote margin in the race to represent the Bataan Second Legislative District in the Philippine House of Representatives.

Roman is a member of the center-left Liberal Party.

Dindi Tan, a former member of the Quezon City Pride Council board of directors, applauded Roman’s election in a statement to TransGriot.

“For a country that has yet to catch up with the significant LGBT rights developments and inroads around the world, the election victory of Congresswoman-elect Geraldine Roman is an inspiration by itself for a community that has long yearned for its own voice in the halls of Philippine Congress,” said Tan.

“Her election is a breath of fresh air and is welcomed with great optimism by the Philippine trans community,” she added. “Her being the first openly tranwoman voted into Congress is a clear testament that the tide is slowly shifting to our favor.”

Roman told Tan in a Facebook message that she is “looking forward to serving our people.”

Philippine voters on Monday also appear to have elected controversial Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, who is a member of PDP-Laban party of which Roman is a part, to succeed President Benigno Aquino. Boxer Manny Pacquiao, who sparked outrage earlier this year when he said same-sex marriage is “more disgusting than (sex) between animals,” was also on the ballot for a seat in the Philippine Senate.

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

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