On the early morning of July 15 of 2010, Argentina became the first country in Latin America to grant full marriage rights to same-sex couples. Such a tremendous human rights victory did not take place in a vacuum: It counted with the support of the government of Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and it was the culmination of a long and effective marriage equality campaigned led by the Argentinean LGBT Federation (FALGBT), a coalition of LGBT organizations throughout the country.
Even then, as they pulled efforts and resources towards the marriage equality fight, the FALGBT never lost focus on what they said would be their next battle: The push for a law which would allow transgender individuals to change their name on their ID’s and birth certificates.
Several bills have been introduced in the Argentinean legislature and the day has come for debate on the law. From xQsi Magazine:
On Thursday, August 18, 2011, the Argentinian Congress will begin the debate on a proposed gender identity law. If passed, this law would allow anyone to correct hir name, gender and image registration in all public records through a quick and simple procedure.
Currently, trans people who wish to obtain a government ID with their true gender and name must wait years for a judges ruling, often being denied and forced to go through a lengthy and costly appeals process.
In preparation, the Argentinian Federation of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans people (FALGBT) and the ATTTA (Asociación de Trasvetis, Transexuales y Transgéneros de Argentina) launched earlier last week, the campaign “Identidad: Derecho a ser” (“Identity: The right to be” in English).
As part of the campaign, ATTTA and the FALGBT contracted Director Juan Pablo Felix and producer Matías Romero to come up with the first video for the transgender rights campaign. It’s amazing. Take a look:If you recognize somebody from the video it’s because you have seen him on this blog before. On December of 2010, Alejandro Iglesias shocked viewers of the Argentinean version of the Big Brother reality show by disclosing he was a transgender man and had entered the house seeking funding for gender-reassignment surgery. Once in the house, Alejandro found some allies and revealed his identity to his house-mates as well. The revelation quickly became common knowledge around the house, bringing with it a subtle and not-so-subtle rejection from some of the male house members, and a few outright transphobic questionning of his identy – particularly from a gay house member. Alejandro would eventually leave the house without making it to the final.
The most interesting part, for me, was watching Alejandro not only become a national sensation, but see his blossoming activist awareness. Challenged by ATTTA and the FALGBT to help them raise awareness about the gender identity bills now in play, after leaving the house, Alejandro kept his promise and became a visible partner of both organizations. In April, with their help, Alejandro became one of the few transgender individuals to receive a new ID card when he went to the courts to ask for it. The new law, if passed, would facilitate the process without having to go through a court battle.
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