Venezuela: Meet Tamara Adrián, Venezuela’s crusading trans politician

Among those elected in Venezuela's recent election was Tamara Adrián, a lawyer and human-rights campaigner. She is the first transgender member of the Parliament in Venezuela and only the second trans member of a legislature in the whole of Latin America, the first being Michelle Suárez Bértora in Uruguay last year.

That Adrián won the seat at all is an achievement—but that it happened in Venezuela is extraordinary. Venezuela now has chronic food shortages, an official unemployment rate of 18%, and inflation of 159%, the highest in the world. The Bolivar, the nation’s currency, is so worthless people have begun using it as napkins. Adrián said her demands for equality and a better economy for Venezuela are closely bound, citing studies by organizations like the World Bank which show that equality not only makes society more just, it raises productivity as well.

In the short term, Adrián will also force the Venezuelan Parliament to be more civilized. She said: “In the past, in this Assembly, people have been calling each other ‘mariconson,’ which is ‘faggot,’ basically. It’s unacceptable to say that in a Parliament. My presence will require tolerance and I will very strongly request that respect.

“On the other hand, as I have in my agenda the fight for equality, as soon as possible I will be pushing forward for getting a discussion on a gender identity law, anti-discrimination law, and equal marriage law. These three laws are indispensable.”  Read more via the Daily Beast