Photo: Woman Becomes First Transsexual to Run for Office in Mexico
Diana Sanchez Barrios, the first transsexual women to seek a seat in Mexico City’s municipal assembly, says she is confident of winning.
“This isn’t a matter of transsexuality but of capability, and I’m capable of legislating for all citizens - I’m ready to win and I know I’m going to win,” she told Efe.
Sanchez Barrios, who at 16 began a hormone treatment to modify her body and then for several years prepared herself for sex-change surgery, said that she spent more than 10 years developing her activism in defense of human rights and sexual identity.
The activist has been a local councilor in the leftist PRD and is now seeking the party’s nomination for a spot in the municipal assembly.
In her opinion, there’s still a long way to go before transsexuals enjoy their full rights in Mexico, since little has yet been done about such issues as adapting documents and obtaining the relevant health care.
“You live undocumented in your own country. How are you going to apply for a job or be treated by doctors if your name doesn’t match the way you look?” she asked.
In 2009 the capital’s assembly approved an ordinance that allows transsexual people to go through the procedure of identity change, though in the rest of the country no such progress has been made.
Sanchez Barrios has managed to change all her documentation to her new identity: birth certificate, voter registration and documents of property ownership.
“I’m beginning to open the way not only for the transsexual community but for all kinds of vulnerable groups that are sometimes afraid to go out and do things,” she said.
Sanchez Barrios said she will not just legislate for transsexuals but for all citizens, with the priority going to the most vulnerable groups.
“My personal situation made me more mature, it made me understand a lot of things and fight - it got me where I am right now,” she said.