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ILGA Brussels - internship Christa Levko, ILGA Brussels - internship
anonymous contributorWritten anonymously. (Spanish)

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Diane Rodriguez, founder of Association Silhouette X
“Legally we are nothing”

in ECUADOR, 01/07/2013

That the card appears the word gender and sex, is a legal change for transgender communities.

The photo shows a woman with long hair, plucked eyebrows and pink lips. The name also corresponds to that of a woman. But there is something that does not agree with that, next to the word sex says “M”, male. This is the identity card of Diane Rodriguez, who knows that her gender is not reflected in this document.

The story of Diane, president of the Association Silhouette X, is repeated in each of the persons who are recognized as male or female, regardless of what determined their genitals, whereas their new gender identity can not be visible in their bonds. Faced with this problem that trans communities face, decided to submit a draft legislative reform in which they propose to change the word gender sex for identity cards.

The order was made on July 23, before the Committee on Decentralized Autonomous Governments and the National Assembly of Ecuador, by the Ecuadorian Confederation of Trans and Intersex Communities (CONFETRANS) Silueta X Association and Transgender Project. Legal considerations on the topic arise from the concern for the equal rights of these groups.

For example, Jessica Palma (21), transsexual nearly three years ago, that want change to “enter in the city statistics” and states: “We have no assurance in what is health and formalities such-talking -banks, is complicated because the card out something else. ” She also speaks of trans sex workers. According to a study Silueta X, 73% of the trans in Guayaquil incur this type of work. Jessica says, with enthusiasm, that if law reform would be “something satisfying for them” because now they will be able to have other jobs.

Currently there are legal ways through which a person who does not identify with the gender that is in your card, you can change it. The first is to make a summary judgment, in which you can change the birth certificate. The other solution is to request administrative action constitutional protection, but this could take about nine months or more, including the operation process of the genitals.

However, replacing only the letter M on F would not be consistent with the identity of the trans decide not to have surgery. This is why we are calling for reform of the Civil Registration Act, Documentation, specifically Articles 78, 84, 89, because “there is an inconsistency by the Civil Registry, because where it says put sex and gender response. If the mention registrar says sex, man or woman should say and not male or female, “said Diane Rodriguez, who also said:” Legally we are nothing “because they are part of what the state ‘imposed’.

On the other hand, Lorena Bonilla, a lawyer pro, consider this: “The fact that the card exists the gender of the person, is simply the acknowledgment in an official document (…) of an unchangeable fact which is given by Nature “This position is the same as Rolando Panchana maintains Assemblyman, he thinks the word sex change gender on the ballot, means adding something objective to subjective data,” that would be constitutionally unacceptable. “

The proposed trans communities is based on the precepts of equality, privacy and non-discrimination before the law, which are given by the Constitution of Ecuador, Article 11, paragraph 2, states: “No one shall be discriminated against on reasons (…) gender. ” Therefore, if you refuse the order, there would be consistent with the backbone of the country’s laws. The lawyer Xavier Flores asserts: “What you must do is to adapt the rules on the issue of identity cards to the provisions of the Constitution. If the Constitution says that there shall be no discrimination on sexual orientation and said to be sanctioned discrimination, the least we can make a lower legal standard is tailored to that provision. “

The right to privacy spoken of, has to do with the information itself that the person gives the State. In the case of the trans, the fact that in its charter says her sex, regard it as a violation of the most intimate, because they are exposing genitals they were born with. The lawyer Silvia Buendía, activist for sexual minorities, exemplifies the situation: “If I am transgender and I give my card to someone and I see women, but read my card and says” has been a man “is learning a intimate question concerning my personal life, suddenly I do not want you to know, because it causes rejection and discrimination because it causes. ” That is, what happens now, is against the constitutional rights of any citizen.

Another consideration is that if there is a change, not only would have to reform the Civil Registration Act, Documentation, but would have a whole chain of laws to discuss, Panchana says: “This would require an amendment to make all other laws. And I think that is what is sought, no such reform is sought specifically, per se, but it seeks to meet the reform and use it for a number of “conquests” that these groups consider “legitimate” and that they have been denied as 40 or 30 years ago. “

By accepting this reform transgender communities request, the consequences would be of two types: legal and social. On the side of legality, according Panchana could falsified identities through the change of name and gender, to commit other unlawful acts. I argue that Flores considered “ridiculous” because that can be taken now, and the law is not approved.
Visibility and empathy are the main advantages Silvia Buendía believes that could be created, both from the process of discussion of the law, and after acceptance.

The achievements of GLBTI groups over the years constant since 1997, for the decriminalization of homosexuality in Ecuador, then in 1998 the Constitution was added in the non-discrimination based on sexual orientation. Finally, in 2008, in the same document, recognized the union of two people of the same sex and the right to non-discrimination on gender identity. This revives the hopes of Diane and other tans, to someday see “Gender: Female” in its charter, to someday be called “Miss” without prejudice and, at last, be a free citizen like any other.

Adriana Nieto

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