Meet Fiorello Estrada López, commander of Chapala’s regional division of the Jalisco Policia Vial (traffic police).
If the face and name ring a bell, it’s because Estrada has served as the agency’s chief officer since May 2019, prior to coming out publicly as a transgender person.
Long before that family and close friends were aware of Estrada’s decision to identify as a male, and face the long and challenging process of transitioning from an original registered birth sex of female.
In a recent interview, Estrada answered the questions concerning traffic police business I had put on the table before expressing the desire to talk about his gender switch as a matter of personal and official transparency. It was a lengthy and deeply candid conversation.
On December 22 of last year, he appeared at Chapala’s Civil Registry to receive a new birth certificate formalizing the switch to the male gender and minor name change. That was only one point along the rocky road of a personal journey that started years before and will continue far into the future.
Estrada was already sporting a masculine cropped haircut when he (then she) was put in charge of the Chapala branch of the state traffic police. It was some months later that I learned of his intentions to formally adopt a different gender identity.