Social Issues

Venezuelan activists rally for rights of trans people

Caracas, Mar 31 (EFE).- Defenders of the LGBT community gathered here Thursday to demand that the institutions of the Venezuelan government honor a legal provision that gives individuals the right to change their names.

Participants marked the International Transgender Day of Visibility by presenting a petition to the National Electoral Council (CNE) requesting the establishment of a mechanism allowing people to change the names on all identity documents, including passports and voter’s registrations.

Tamara Adrian, a former lawmaker, told Efe that activists want to see an “end to the intolerance of the CNE, which for 12 years has impeded the application of Article 167 of the Organic Law of the Civil Registry, which permits the change of name.”

She pointed out that nine Latin American countries – Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Peru, and Uruguay – have laws allowing a citizen to change both the name and the sex in official registries with a mere request.

“That leaves us Paraguay and Venezuela, with levels of intolerance like those we have at this moment. So, what we demand is simply equality and application of the law,” Adrian said.

Human rights campaigner Desiree Perez said that the refusal by institutions or their functionaries to acknowledge people by their chosen names or gender designations constitutes a form of “aggression.”

“The visibilization is important on this day and seeing us as we are, trans men and women, and also that we are present, fighting for there to be no more hate crimes, no labor or health or economic discrimination,” she told Efe.

Raising awareness about trans people is vital to ending abuse that targets them, stylist Alexa Lagalana said.

“We are here for the visibility of transsexual people, as today we are invisible, we don’t count,” she said. “We are mistreated, and we know that this has lasted many years. Right now, more than anything, we are applying ourselves to the right of identity, which is the change of name.”

The International Day of Transgender Visibility was founded in 2009 by Rachel Crandall, a psychotherapist and transgender advocate in the United States. EFE


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