A transwoman shopper took to Tiktok on Wednesday to call out the management of the Zara retail clothing store at the BGC in Taguig for discriminating against her when she was prevented from entering the women’s fitting room to try dresses she wanted to buy.
Angelo Marasigan, who goes by the username @luismarasigan (also known as Louis Marasigan) on the popular video-sharing app, said that a female employee told her to go to the men’s fitting room on the upper floor of the store when she went into the fitting room for women.
“Hi, guys. So, andito tayo ngayon sa labas ng mall. Dyan ako galing sa Zara. Grabe, guys, yong ginawa nila sa akin. Grabe. Pumasok ako sa fitting room kasi nga sa pambabae naman talaga ako bumibili ng damit–so, pumasok na ako sa fitting room ng babae, andoon din yong kapatid ko. May lumapit sa aking babae, sabi niya, ‘sir, sa taas po kayo’. Sabi ko, ‘bakit po?’ Sabi niya, yong fitting room daw kasi ng lalaki, doon sa taas,” she said.
Marasigan said that she told the saleswoman that she is not a man but a transwoman. “Sabi ko, ate, hindi naman po kasi ako lalaki, sabi ko transwoman po ako.”
However, the saleswoman told her that other customers might be upset if they allow her to try the dresses in the women’s fitting room.
Marasigan stated that she looked around because of the claim and noticed that there were no other customers lining up in the women’s fitting rooms, just her and her sibling.
“Pero hindi yon yong point. Hindi kasi ako lalake, alam naman natin yan. Transwoman ako. Hindi ko na pinahaba kasi sobrang close-minded ni ate, ayokong makipag-away. Tumaas ako, binayaran ko yong mga damit ko. Nagreklamo ako doon sa nasa counter, then pinatawag niya yong manager niya–ito pa yong nakakatawa, yong manager nila gay din, part ng LGBT,” she said.
When the store manager came up to her, Marasigan told him she would just pay for her items. She expected him to explain the situation to the saleswoman who stopped her from entering the women’s fitting room, but she was let down.
“Ang sabi niya lang, ‘ok na po ba, tapos na ba yong complaint?’ Di na ako nagsalita, umalis na lang siya. Grabe kayo, Zara,” Marasigan said, advising his 85k followers not to patronize the store anymore.
Netizens who saw her post, like actor and comedian Awra Briguela and influencer and social media personality Bretman Rock, told Marasigan they were sorry for what happened to her in Zara.
“I’m so sorry for this. Hugs, my love,” Briguela commented.
“May ordinance about discrimination sa Taguig. Hindi ba nag seminar sa mga employees na yun? Big no sa ganitong eksena nila, ang uncomfy, love you, sis!” Ryan Zandy Acuin said.
Miss Trans Global 2020, writer, content creator, and actress Mela Habijan, who shared Marasigan’s video post on her Instagram account, called on the Taguig local government and Zara’s managementto set things right by opening and welcoming discussions on the SOGIE bill, or the sexual orientation and gender identity or expression.
“A lot of Filipinos still don’t recognize trans women as women. Dahil sa pisikal—katawan, boses, hitsura, at ari na mayroon kami,” Habijan said.
“At tama si Miss Louis, pinakamasakit kapag kapwa LGBTQIA+ ang hindi magtatanggol at siyang mangunguna sa hindi pagkilala sa diversity ng gender at sexuality,” she added.
While there are those who came to her defense, some netizens also told Marasigan to respect Zara’s policies.
A user named Gecs said, “May rules po kasi ang bawat establishment, hindi po natin pwede ipilit agad, employee lang din po sila need lang sundin yong rules.”
Zara’s verified account also reached out to her, asking Marasigan to send them her complaint via direct message.
“Hello, please send us a direct message confirming your contact details as we would like to review this directly with you. Thank you,” the store’s Tiktok account said.
To date, Marasigan’s video post already has 726.2k heart taps and 7.9M views.