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.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:
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).
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.
In the meantime, as an aside and going back to marriage equality: The banner above is what you see when you go to Argentinean President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner's re-election campaign YouTube Site. It includes a video that celebrates diversity and the moment she signed the marriage equality bill into law.
It's not hard to miss, but that's Alex Freyre kissing his husband José Maria Di Bello right to the left of the president --- and this is on President Kirchner's general re-election YouTube campaign page!
Alex and José are, of course, the first gay couple to marry in Latin America. Alex tells me that it's not only the first time that a presidential campaign has used the image of a gay couple so prominently.
- Argentina's big step towards true sexual equality (The Guardian, Sept. 2, 2011)
- Same-sex marriage legal, Argentineans ready to fight for full equality (Global Post, Oct. 19, 2011)
- Latin America is leading the way on trans issues (TransGriot)
- Argentina to debate gender identity law (xQsi Magazine)
- On the Matter of Identification (The Daily KOS)
- Argentine legislature debates trans rights (The Bilerico Project)
- In Argentina, "going for more equality" with gender equality legislation (AMERICAbloggay)
- Trans rights campaign ad (Joe.My.God.)
- Argentine Ad Vividly Demonstrates Need for New Transgender Law (GLAAD)
- Argentina: Campaign For Transgender Rights (Instinct Magazine)
- The American Trans-Rights Movement Could Learn A Lot From This Argentinian Ad (Queerty)
- Morning Meme (After Elton)
- Argentina's trans rights campaign (Care2)
- Dowód osobisty i prawo do bycia sobą w Argentynie (Innastrona)