Venezuela: First transgender candidate to run for Congress

The first transgender politician to run for popular election in Venezuela registered as candidate for Congress as part of the opposition bloc, promising to advance gay rights in the traditionally macho South American society. Lawyer and gay rights activist Tamara Adrian had to register under her given name Thomas Adrian despite a 2002 sex change, because Venezuelan law does not allow anyone born male to legally become female or take a woman's name.

"We're going to fight so that everyone gets respect," said Adrian, amid a tussle of candidates and cheering supporters at the gates of an elections authority office in Caracas. Adrian is running with the opposition party Voluntad Popular, which includes some of the most outspoken critics of President Nicolas Maduro. Two gay candidates are also running with Voluntad Popular.

She argued that Venezuela, along with Paraguay, Guyana, Suriname and Peru, has done little to extend equal rights to homosexuals. It was not immediately evident if the electoral council will register Adrian as a woman. In June the council said at least 40% of candidates in the upcoming vote must be women.  Read More