By Nancy Landa
Beatriz is a transgender woman originally from El Salvador, who has made Mexico her new country of residence, not voluntarily as she is unable to return to her country because her life there is in danger. After undergoing a process with the Mexican Refugee Assistance Commission (COMAR), an agency of the Mexican government that is responsible for recognizing refugee status; and another one, with the National Migration Institute (INM), Beatriz now has a permanent residency card that allows her to live and work legally in Mexico.
However, the one setback is that this document has a male name, a name that she was registered with at birth and the one she used until she made the decision to become a woman.
Beatriz wants to work, to continue to grow, to continue her studies but when she walks in the streets of Mexico City or goes for a job interview, people refer to her as a “he”, “the boy-girl” , “the guy who claims to be girl” among others, and her resume is rejected, in many cases, at the moment recruiters see her.
Like Beatriz, many in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Transvestite, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTTTI) community face similar difficulties. But if they also happen to be migrants, asylum-seekers or refugees, they experience a greater degree of vulnerability for a variety of reasons: they are in a new country; they do not have family or support networks, housing, or work; they do not speak Spanish. Additionally, they face a culture that enables discrimination and increases barriers to finding a job or accessing social services.
Mexico, in addition to being a signatory to various international instruments that guarantee the rights of refugees, including vulnerable groups such as the LGBTTI community, has also adopted federal legislation which acknowledges persecution based on gender as grounds to be recognized as a refugee. Additionally, the Mexican Constitution also prohibits discrimination based on ethnic or national origin, gender, sexual orientation, among others, and since 2003, it adopted the Federal Law to Prevent and Eliminate Discrimination.
Even with the regulatory frameworks that recognize the human rights of every individual, the challenges remain for the Mexican government to guarantee freedom from discrimination and persecution due to gender identity.
Source: Sin Embargo
Photo Credit: http://focusmidsouth.com/political-asylum/