Transgender lawmaker joins Philippines military

Manila, Feb 14 (IANS) The Philippines’ first transgender lawmaker took her oath on Wednesday as a reservist officer of the armed forces, becoming the country’s first transgender military officer.

The Department of National Defence said in a statement that Geraldine Roman, a member of the House of Representatives, donned the rank of Lt Colonel as she officially joined the Philippines Army Reserve Force.

Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana administered the donning of ranks and oath-taking ceremony that was also attended by Chief of Staff General Rey Leonardo Guerrero and other defence and security officials at the Camp Aguinaldo, Xinhua news agency reported.

Roman announced her application to the Reserve Force in February 2017. She thanked the military for allowing individuals from the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) community to serve the nation.

“War and disaster do not recognize gender, it affects everybody, and everyone must defend and serve our communities, and our country, that is why I am joining the Reserve Force,” Roman said.

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