Fellow: Andres Costilla Castro
Grant Year: 2018
City: San Luis Potosí, Mexico
Organization: Amigos Potosinos in the Fight against AIDS
Project title: Transgender women’s right to identity in San Luis Potosí
Project summary: In San Luis Potosí, girls, adolescents, and transgender women’s human rights are regularly violated, which greatly inhibits their access to health, education, justice and social security. Transgender women are not legally recognized by the government and are still classified as men before the law, making them invisible before all state systems. For example, transwomen cannot get a valid ID with their preferred name, which in turn prevents them from being able to enroll in higher education, get a driver’s license, or register to vote. Stigma, discrimination and transphobia are exacerbated by transwomen’s lack of legal status and prevent transgender women from accessing health services, education, and employment opportunities. Amigos Potosinos will implement an advocacy strategy led by trans women focused on passage of a new bill in which the Congress of San Luis Potosí would amend the civil, family and civil codes so that transgender people can change their name and gender in state documents, and legally access health services, education, work, and opportunities. In addition to the legal implications of this advocacy strategy, acquiring legal recognition for the trans community is a critical first step to combatting the widespread stigma and rampant discrimination that the trans community faces.