Transgender rights group cranks up its activism

The organization Impulso Trans, a group dedicated to activism for transgender people in Mexico, has written a sharply-worded letter to Jalisco Governor Aristoteles Sandoval reminding him and his administration that there is still a lot of work to be done to ensure the rights and safety of the state’s trans population.

Impulso Tran’s message to Sandoval suggests that his administration is resting on its laurels following their recent pledges to eradicate manifestations of hate against the LGBTQ community.

The group says those efforts have been largely undone by the “misinformation and ignorance that permeates various levels of Mexican society, which is fertile ground for the frequent occurrence of hate crimes.”

In light of what they see as the trans community’s continued victimization by violence and marginalization, Impulso Trans is demanding that November 13 be designated  “Transpeople Day” – not as a celebration, but rather as an opportunity for education and visibility – and that an initiative be passed formally recognizing “trans” as a gender.

The Guadalajara-based non-profit ended its letter to the governor with the announcement of the first “Festival Cultural por el Dia de la Poblacion Trans,” planned for Sunday, November 12, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Parque Revolucion (Federalismo and Juarez).  In addition, a march in favor of the aforementioned gender identity law will start outside the University of Guadalajara rectory building (Juarez and Enrique Diaz de Leon) Saturday, November 11, 5 p.m.  Go to the group’s Facebook page for further details.

The letter couldn’t be more timely. This week in the U.S. state of Virginia, Danica Roem, a transgender politician, unseated in a race for a spot on the state legislature the longtime Republican incumbent Bob Marshall, making her the second transwoman (after Althea Garrison, who won a seat on the Massachusetts legislature back in 1993) to be elected to a state seat.  The win is freighted with additional meaning considering Marshall was the lawmaker who earlier this year sponsored a bill requiring transpeople to use bathrooms matching the gender printed on their birth certificates.

Meanwhile, another trans politician, Andrea Jenkins, was elected to the Minneapolis city council, the first transgender person to do so in a major city.

While the struggle for transgender rights is far from over stateside, these recent electoral victories would seem to suggest that significant progress is being made in the court of public perception regarding this particular sector of the U.S. population.

Strictly according to this metric, Mexico has a long way to go before it achieves parity with its neighbor to the north, however halting Uncle Sam’s progress in that area may be.