One Equal World

History for Trans People in El Salvador

Posted on: March 27, 2014

LGBT History in El Salvador

LGBT History in El Salvador

On March 9th, history was made in El Salvador, where the first time in the nation’s history, transgender people were allowed to vote in an election. Normally barred from voting, as their physical appearance doesn’t match their genders on their identification cards, the Supreme Electoral Tribunal announced that all people must be allowed to vote.

This comes as an historic advancement of LGBT progress from outgoing president Mauricio Funes. Many are worried that his successor, Salvador Sanchez Ceren, will be as practical and open-minded. The climate for LGBT rights in El Salvador is an extremely complex one, with complications arising from organized crime and corruption in government ranks.

For Rubi Navas, a transgender woman who was allowed to vote in the recent election, she had this to say:

“History tells us that when people possess rights, we don’t let them be taken from us easily. Even if the new government doesn’t maintain Funes’s initiatives, the sensitivity to LGBT rights that now exists in many public entities is irreversible. Now, some people understand that being gay isn’t a disease, it’s not satanic, it doesn’t mean you’ll get AIDS by shaking a gay person’s hand. Discrimination still exists—I’m not saying today that the battle has been won—but the seed has been planted and that is important.”

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