Challenges of diversity
From the point of view of diversity, everything seems to be more complicated, more difficult as well as there exist more challenges and more violations of fundamental rights such as education and health.
In Guatemala, the discourse of the “traditional family” established by the standards imposed by a conservative society mercilessly attacks those who do not comply with this scheme.
As a society it is difficult to understand that within each space there are diversities, from emotions, thoughts, actions, ways of conceiving and enjoying life.
The Lesbian, Gay, Transgender, Bisexual, Intersex and Queer (LGBTIQ) community is a diverse and vibrant community of people who deserve respect and acceptance. While progress has been made in the fight for equality, there is still much work to be done. It is important to work together to create a more inclusive world and support people who face discrimination and violence. In doing so, we can create a world where all people can be themselves and live without fear.
In the context of June 28, International Gay Pride Day or International LGBTIQ Pride Day, we present the struggle that Alex Castillo Hernandez, 52, founder of “Trans-Formación”, the first trans men’s collective in Central America, and president of the “Red de colectivos americanos de Hombres Trans y personas disidentes de género asignadas femeninas al nacer” (REDCADHT+), faces every day.
Castillo is a trans man, meaning that he was born and named with the female gender, but by decision and conviction he prefers to be a man.
The basic notion of “LGBT+ Pride” is that no person should be ashamed of who they are, whatever their sex, sexual orientation or sexual identity is, conveying the idea of an intrinsic dignity of every human being, which should not be affected by their behavior or sexual orientation. In this sense, it is about LGBT+ dignity, the discourse that has accompanied Alex since he started this fight for the respect for life, diversity and collectivity.
Trans men positioning an agenda of rights and needs
“Platicando Con” is the podcast of the organization Entreamigos Lagun Artean, a space to make visible struggles of women from Guatemala and the Basque Country, and in one episode they talk about and get to know Alex’s story. Alex tells that he has two children, that due to fear and other circumstances he got married and gave birth to two lives, however, it was not what he needed for a fulfilled life.
In a series of interviews and on several occasions, Alex comments that the collective of trans men in Guatemala has been emerging with an agenda for their positioning. He explains that since 2013 to date, diversity agendas were already included, but only on trans women’s issues. “But there really exist needs for us trans men, our experiences are different,” he said.
He also comments that the collective was started by six trans men and has grown to more than 200. “Those 200 voices are agitating, spinning and demanding specific needs of our population”, he justifies.
Alex assures that the laws against the LGTBIQ+ collective are getting stricter and stricter. At the moment, they are afraid that the Law for the Protection of Life and Family will be reactivated. This law proposes that the State totally criminalizes abortion and marriages between people of the community. Especially in the current election year, “we feel that the majority of presidential candidates and political parties will want to reactivate this law that puts us in complete vulnerability, makes our collectives invisible, marks them as pathological and makes us more vulnerable,” he denounces.
Every Sunday, when people meet in the church, the attacks of the different religious leaders go against the LGTBIQ+ population. They are taking advantage of these moments to reach more people with that hate speech; with that famous speech of gender ideology and “don’t mess with my children”, which is a direct attack of the church, trying to spread this opinion within the Guatemalan citizenship and that puts the trans society in a state of vulnerability. T bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) people in 2021. The Human Rights Ombudsman’s Office reported that there were at least 19 homicides of the community in Guatemala in 2020.
As society has evolved, the struggle for LGBTQ+ rights has gained momentum. In many countries, laws have been enacted to protect people from discrimination in employment, housing, and other areas. In addition, same-sex marriage has been legalized. However, the fight for equality is not over yet; they still face discrimination and violence, being gay or transgender is illegal and can lead to a death sentence, but now discrimination and harassment often occur in school and work environments.
The Importance of Inclusion
It is important to work together to create a more inclusive world for all people, including LGBTQ+ people. Inclusion means accepting and respecting all people, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. This can mean providing a safe and welcoming environment at the workplace or school and supporting LGBTQ+ people who face discrimination or violence. It is important to understand the fight for LGBTQ+ equality, but above all to respect it; this can mean respect for those who vote for politicians who support LGBTQ+ rights, participate in demonstrations and protests, or donate to organizations that fight for equality.
The pride of LGBTQ+ is the celebration of human dignity and diversity! The basic notion is that all people deserve respect and acceptance, regardless of their sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity.
Dignity is intrinsic to every human being and should not be affected by their behavior or preferences! This discourse is what has accompanied Alex in his struggle for respect for life, diversity, and collectivity.
The stories of Alex and other LGBTQ+ community members can be found at https://www.lagungt.org/.
This report was created thanks to the support of the association “Entreamigos Lagun Artean”.
hey can be victims of various attacks and nobody can do anything against it, he claims.
Their work is based on knowing the specific agendas, especially those of human rights movements and collectives. Their voice as a trans men’s movement has not been heard because many times when there are expressions of support, whether it is economic support or only the demand for dignified treatment, it is generally directed towards the female trans population.
“The agenda must address specific issues. If so, I find this opportunity to discuss our needs, from a simple PAP smear to dignified and humane treatment, very interesting,” he emphasizes. Further he criticizes the hegemonic beauty. “Breaking away from the molds and stereotypes imposed by society. A trans man has different needs, so they have rights and an agenda to position. From there, we have to start promoting the support of different cooperation agencies,” Alex affirms.
Awareness and respect for sexual diversity
The LGBTIQ community is made up of a variety of identities, the most common being lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. In addition, there are people who identify themselves as queer, intersex and asexual, among others. Each of these identities have their own unique experiences and struggles. For example, transgender people may face difficulties in gaining access to medical care and legal documents that reflect their true gender identity. Intersex people, who are born with sex characteristics that do not conform to binary gender norms, may also face discrimination and stigma. It is important to keep in mind that a person’s identity can be fluid and changing over time. For example, a person may identify as bisexual at one point in their life and then pansexual at another. It is important to respect people’s identities and not make assumptions about them. Raising awareness and reflecting on diversity are some of the objectives of the June 28 commemoration.
The Fight for Equality
The LGBTQ+ community has faced a long fight for equality. Throughout history, LGBTQ+ people have been persecuted, imprisoned, and killed due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. In Guatemala, civil society organizations reported a total of 13 murders of lesbian, gay.