philippines elects transgender congresswoman pkg kinkade_00011206.jpg
philippines elects transgender congresswoman pkg kinkade_00011206.jpg
Now playing
01:44
Philippines elects transgender woman to Congress
Tom van Oossanen
Now playing
01:17
See superyacht squeeze through narrow canals
Indian railway worker saves child from oncoming train
Indian Ministry of Railways
Indian railway worker saves child from oncoming train
Now playing
00:55
See moment child is saved from oncoming train
TOPSHOT - A picture taken on April 10, 2021, shows a view of a 3000 year old city, dubbed The Rise of Aten, dating to the reign of Amenhotep III, uncovered by the Egyptian mission near Luxor. - Archaeologists have uncovered the remains of an ancient city in the desert outside Luxor that they say is the "largest" ever found in Egypt and dates back to a golden age of the pharaohs 3,000 years ago. Famed Egyptologist Zahi Hawass announced the discovery of the "lost golden city", saying the site was uncovered near Luxor, home of the legendary Valley of the Kings. (Photo by Khaled DESOUKI / AFP) (Photo by KHALED DESOUKI/AFP via Getty Images)
KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/AFP via Getty Images
TOPSHOT - A picture taken on April 10, 2021, shows a view of a 3000 year old city, dubbed The Rise of Aten, dating to the reign of Amenhotep III, uncovered by the Egyptian mission near Luxor. - Archaeologists have uncovered the remains of an ancient city in the desert outside Luxor that they say is the "largest" ever found in Egypt and dates back to a golden age of the pharaohs 3,000 years ago. Famed Egyptologist Zahi Hawass announced the discovery of the "lost golden city", saying the site was uncovered near Luxor, home of the legendary Valley of the Kings. (Photo by Khaled DESOUKI / AFP) (Photo by KHALED DESOUKI/AFP via Getty Images)
Now playing
01:21
3,000-year-old city discovered and looks like it was 'left as if it were yesterday'
Kalen Allen/ Food Network
Now playing
02:11
Popcorn salad recipe brings the internet to its knees
Now playing
00:59
Giant monitor lizard freaks out shoppers in Thailand
In this photograph taken on April 4, 2021, winner of Mrs. Sri Lanka 2020 Caroline Jurie (2-L) removes the crown of 2021 winner Pushpika de Silva (C) as she is disqualified by the jurie over the accusation of being divorced, at a beauty pageant for married women in Colombo. (Photo by - / AFP) (Photo by -/AFP via Getty Images)
AFP/Getty Images
In this photograph taken on April 4, 2021, winner of Mrs. Sri Lanka 2020 Caroline Jurie (2-L) removes the crown of 2021 winner Pushpika de Silva (C) as she is disqualified by the jurie over the accusation of being divorced, at a beauty pageant for married women in Colombo. (Photo by - / AFP) (Photo by -/AFP via Getty Images)
Now playing
01:52
Beauty pageant winner has crown snatched on stage
Reuters
Now playing
00:57
Video captures couple accidentally defacing expensive artwork
Getty Images
Now playing
02:18
This airplane-shaped bag is selling for more than some actual planes
Now playing
02:04
Why researcher is concerned about Japan's cherry bloom
ViralHog
Now playing
02:05
Mama bear's struggle with cubs looks hilariously familiar
Now playing
00:49
Deer crashes into a moving school bus and lands on a student
Reuters
Now playing
02:08
Mysterious crosses at sacred Christian site explained
Boston Dynamics
Now playing
00:48
Boston Dynamics' newest robot has tentacle-like grippers
Now playing
01:04
Grandpa Monster is revealed on 'The Masked Singer'
Air Force drone washes ashore
WPLG
Air Force drone washes ashore
Now playing
01:15
Air Force training drone washed ashore on Florida beach

Story highlights

Transgender woman Geraldine Roman wins seat in Philippines congress

LGBT groups celebrate victory as sign of progress in Catholic-dominated country

(CNN) —  

Voters have made history in the Philippines, electing their first ever transgender politician to the House of Representatives.

Liberal Party candidate Geraldine Roman trounced her closest rival in the congressional district of Bataan, winning 62% of the unofficial vote count with 99% of precincts reporting.

Philippines’ likely president Duterte vows to be ‘dictator’ against evil

It’s a significant milestone for the LGBT community in the Catholic-dominated Philippines, where gays, lesbians and transgenders have been publicly ridiculed by some politicians and public figures.

Geraldine Roman waves to supporters while campaigning in Bataan province, April 30, 2016.
TED ALJIBE/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Geraldine Roman waves to supporters while campaigning in Bataan province, April 30, 2016.

Earlier this year, eight-time world boxing champion Manny Pacquiao sparked worldwide condemnation and outrage in the Philippines for saying gay people are “worse than animals.” He later apologized for the insult, which came during his own bid for a Senate seat.

Many of the same groups to publicly condemn Pacquiao are now jubilant over Roman’s achievement.

Filipino LGBT political organization LADLAD was quick to congratulate her, noting the historic significance.

Another twitter user called Roman her “hero,” calling her win a sign of progress for the Philippines.

Forty-nine-year-old Roman has been living as a woman for the past two decades and has a male partner.

Model: Why I came out as transgender

Not shy to defend LGBT rights, Roman nonetheless downplayed the notion that she was a novelty candidate while campaigning in her northern Philippines district. Her popularity, she insisted, had more to do her policies than her gender.

The daughter of political parents, Roman ran for the seat last held by her mother and she vowed to carry on her family’s call to public service.