The New York Times over the
weekend looked at the continued violence and discrimination
transgender Argentines face.
Argentina has led the LGBT rights
movement in Latin American, becoming the first country in 2010 to
allow gay and lesbian couples to marry. More recently, Argentine
lawmakers approved a series of laws that protect transgender and gay
people. A 2012 law allows transgender people to change their gender
on official documents without involving a psychiatrist or surgeon and
requires access to hormone therapy and gender reassignment surgery
for those who seek it.
Esteban Paulon, president of the
Argentine Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender
People, told the Times that roughly 6,000 people have altered
their gender on official documents since the law came online,
compared with a handful before the law.
Despite the legislative progress,
prejudice remains, and the nation has been rocked in recent weeks by
a series of unsolved killings of transgender women, including the
murder of Diana Sacayan, a prominent leader of Argentina's LGBT
“Society hasn't changed in the
slightest,” said Andrea Cantero, a 29-year-old transgender woman.
“We're people like anybody else.”
“[B]ut I feel it was a message to
say, 'You're worthless,'” she added.
According to a survey published last
year by the Huesped Foundation, transgender life expectancy in
Argentina is roughly half that of the general population in 2013.
Local transgender TV celebrity Lizy
that she focuses on the progress.
“I don't worry about what's yet to be
achieved. I always try to see the glass half full,” she said.