Geraldine Roman on Tuesday celebrated overcoming “bigotry, hatred and discrimination” as results showed she had become the first transgender politician to win a congressional seat in the predominantly Catholic Philippines. After her victory in Monday’s election, Roman, 49, is being seen by the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community as a source of hope in a country where Church influence means divorce, abortion and same-sex marriage are banned.

“The politics of bigotry, hatred and discrimination did not triumph. What triumphed was the politics of love, acceptance and respect,” Roman told AFP after her victory for a seat in Congress representing the farming province of Bataan just northwest of Manila. READ MORE