Visibility of transgender sex workers towards stigma and discrimination matters
Issues: Mexico’s central region has a traditional environment that is reinforced by the mass media spreading stigmatized information towards transgender people. Control sanitary policies, extortion and frequent human rights violation are issues that prevail in the region.
Description: A qualitative group of transgender women received training on topics such as stigma and discrimination; human rights and follow-up to the mass media. Four local newspapers were analyzed in a six-month period so as to identify any information that stigmatizes transgender population, other key populations and topics related to HIV/AIDS matters. Protest letters were sent when inappropriate notes were published. Transgender participation within radio stations, press and TV was promoted covering the following: homosexuality, transvestism, transgender issues, sex work, the coexistence law, HIV, community mobilization. The focal group did peer-education reaching 70 transgender individuals. At the same time, the group started gathering evidence on human rights violation and the first complaints were managed. Knowledge increase was observed in the transgender involved and showed more skills to avoid extortion, arbitrary detention and human rights violation. The media increased the presence of transgender population and gave better discourses towards this topic enhancing the visibility of this community and improving dealing with those policies that affect them.
Lessons learned: An active involvement towards stigma and discrimination matters empowers and pleases the affected community. Showing daily life activities and background is effective to sensitize the population in general, to improve the environment and to set complaints.
Next steps: The participation in the mass media needs to be constant in order to stay and move forward to enhance the conditions. Participating in local boards will allow to set the complaints and to promote opening health and education institutional programs.
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