Friday, February 08, 2013

Ecuador's Diane Rodriguez Poised To Make History

February 17 could see international trans history being made if all goes well for 30 year old psychology student Diane Rodriguez on election night.

The student and trans activist from Guayaquil heads a trans rights organization called Silhouette X and is running for a seat in Ecuador's 100 member  unicameral Congress as a member of the leftist Ruptura 25 party.  

"My focus will be on all minorities, vulnerable ethnic groups and feminist causes,: she said in an AFP interview.   One of the legislative agenda items she'd like to see happen is same gender marriage in her nation that is 85% Catholic. 

But then again, Argentina is heavily Catholic and not only has marriage equality but a groundbreaking gender identity law on the books as well.

She came out as trans as a teen. In a scenario far too familiar to many of us around the world, she was kicked out of her parent's home for a while before being allowed to return home and pursue her dreams.

Rodriguez also won a precedent setting legal battle in 2009 that allowed her to change her name on her ID card but not the gender marker. 

She subsequently with the help of other NGO's launched a campaign that calls for individuals to be allowed to choose which gender they want to register as

If she is successful, she would become not only the first open trans lawmaker in her nation, but the first on the South American continent and the only the fourth ever in the entire world.  If she goes into a runoff election for this open seat she is competing for, that would take place on April 7.   

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