POLITICIAN & JOURNALIST
Geraldine Roman is the Representative of the 1st District of Bataan in the Philippines. In 2016, she became the first openly transgender politician in the Philippines.
Born in 1967 to parents Antonino Roman Jr. and Herminia Roman, Geraldine was the second of four children. Geraldine was raised in the Orani, Bataan and attended Ateneo de Manila University from elementary school through high school. In an interview with Rappler, Geraldine sites these formative years as the time when she learned to stand up for her beliefs. She completed her undergraduate studies at the prestigious University of the Philippines and earned her master’s degrees at the Universidad del País Vasco in Spain. Geraldine’s first career was as the senior editor of the Agencia EFE until her return to the Philippines in 2012.
Geraldine Roman’s career in public service is inspired by her family’s political legacy. Geraldine’s mother, Herminia Roman, served nine years as a congresswoman in the north of Manila and her late father, Antonino Roman Jr., had served as a congressman beginning in 1978. Her faith, Catholicism, bolsters her commitment to improving the lives of all oppressed people.
Geraldine announced her bid for the House of Representatives in the Philippines running as the Liberal Party's candidate. In May 2016, voters of the 1st District of Bataan elected Geraldine Roman in a landslide with 62% of the votes in her favor. In her new role, she champions improvements to health care, infrastructure, and other public services.
Geraldine Roman acknowledges the unique position she is in, stating recently, “Not all enjoy the same fortune or privilege that I have enjoyed.” Geraldine is using her privilege to make concrete change for the people of the Philippines. In collaboration with other elected officials, called Equality Champs collectively, she is leading the fight to pass anti-discrimination legislation which has been held off for more than a decade. Follow Geraldine’s campaign for equality on Twitter with the hashtag: #PassADB