Today, Argentina's legislature will begin formalizing debate around a proposed gender identity act called "Identidad: Derecho a Ser." XQSí Magazineexplains:
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.
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.
LGBT advocates in the country believe that the passage of the gender identity bill will greatly enhance the livelihood of Argentina's trans citizens. The law would speed up the process of trans people correcting their public records to reflect their gender identity and would work toward a better understanding of trans people so that they stop considering trans identity as a disease.
Last year, Argentina became the first Latin American country to pass a marriage equality law, on July 15. I studied in Buenos Aires the entire spring semester, and I left the beautiful country less than two weeks before the law was passed. It surprised me how accepting the Argentine people are toward the LGBT community - my 83-year-old host mother told me many times, in a way that only an Argentine can, "Está bien, dos hombres, dos mujeres, no me molesta" (It's fine - two men, two women, it doesn't bother me).
I attended more than a few marches in Buenos Aires during my semester, and it encouraged me to see that in these parades - which promoted anti-war sentiments or national reflection of a tragedy or celebration of the country's 200th birthday - progressive causes all marched together. Women's rights groups stood among LGBT organizations, which marched alongside anti-war protesters and other peace groups.
This proposed gender identity law is no different. FALGBT, a conglomeration of many Argentine LGBT organizations, led the charge for marriage equality in 2010, and they promised to fight for the rights of trans people, too. Now here they are, aligned with a trans-specific organization, working to educate Argentine citizens on transgender people and pushing for legislative changes. Check out the video below, a campaign push from FALGBT and ATTTA (translations courtesy of Blabbeando), to see the group effort in action. We could learn a thing or two from Argentina's approach to the movement.