Argentina has appointed the very first transgender Chief of Police in Latin America.
After having been dismissed from the police force for coming out as trans several years ago, Analía Pasantino returned to the force after a change in the administration.
Pasantino joined the police force in 1988, working as a male police officer during the day and spending her evenings in dresses. In the video above Pasantino speaks about hiding her identity and not having the courage to even get out of her car dressed as a woman. She eventually found the courage to be her true self, especially with the support of her wife.
In 2008 she finally came out and revealed to her job that she was trans. They swiftly put her on a leave of absence after having given 20 years of her life to the force. According to the Associated Press, she spent nearly a decade trying to prove her mental fitness in order to come back.
Much of Pasantino’s reinstatement is due to change in sentiments and laws in Argentina, which has become a leader in LGBT rights after making same-sex marriage legal in 2010 and passing laws allowing citizens to change their gender without having to jump through legal hoops in 2012.
There is lots of support on social media for Pasantino.
Pasantino sees her appointment as a victory for not just herself, but for others in the trans community as well, saying “At first I was a bit overwhelmed by so much attention. But I’m proud to tell this story and I hope it helps others as well.”
There’s no question that in metropolitan cities such as New York City, Los Angeles, and Miami, that gay rights must be respected. With such huge LGBTQ+ communities in those cities, Pride is like 4th of July, but in smaller cities and states that is not the case. There are still places, like Montana, trying to attack LGBTQ+ rights and one nonbinary Latinx activist stood up and defeated an anti-trans bill.
In Montana, lawmakers introduced a measure that would strip rights away from the trans community and one person would not have it.
The bill — I-183 — would be a change a Montana law that would allow the permission to discriminate against transgender people.
“I-183 would force people to use public accommodations like restrooms and locker rooms that align with the gender on their original birth certificate instead of the gender by which they live and identify.”
That means that a trans woman could not use a female bathroom and a trans man could not use a male bathroom. Furthermore, “I-183 would 1) make work, school, and recreation unsafe for transgender Montanans; 2) put local government and state agencies at risk of expensive, unnecessary lawsuits; and 3) fail to further protect anyone from assault or rape, as these things are already illegal in Montana. I-183 would also jeopardize your privacy by forcing you to prove your gender to anyone who requests to see your paperwork before you enter a public facility.”
Essentially, the Montana government was ready to tell trans people that they have to adhere to the sex they were assigned at birth. This would strip away the most basic right for trans people, and one most Americans enjoy, of self-determination.
Thanks to Zuri Moreno that bill never saw the light of day.
Moreno, who describes themselves as queer, nonbinary, multiracial, and Latinx, made sure their community remained safe in Montana and fought hard to make sure that the bill was blocked.
“My life and my passion focus on racial equity and access in the community,” Moreno said to The Advocate.
The LGBTQ+ community is no stranger to state and the federal governments from attacking their basic rights. North Carolina tried and failed to limit trans people from using the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity. Indiana tried passing a “religious freedom” bill that would have allowed anyone to legally discriminate against anyone in the LGBTQ+ community.
It is because of their fight for trans rights in Montana that The Advocate named them among the 2019 Champions of Pride.
“Montana still does not have an explicit sexual orientation and gender identity nondiscrimination law,” the 32-year-old said to the magazine. “Although a handful of municipalities have passed local nondiscrimination ordinances, at the state level progress is hindered by transphobia, disinterest from non-LGBTQ people, and a lack of political will. There is still a lot of work to do around bringing awareness and dispelling misinformation about trans, nonbinary, and two-spirit identities.”
The federal government is also fighting over a similar measure. H.R. 5 and S. 788, also known as the Equality Act, is a simple piece of legislation that has been embroiled in legal battles for years. The Equality Act seeks to protect LGBTQ+ American from discrimination based on “sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity.” That’s right. The Equality Act would finally close loopholes in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and legally address discrimination against women based on sex. So, the LGBTQ+ community and women would benefit if the Equality Act were passed.
This isn’t news to anyone, especially if you’re in the LGBTQ+ community. In a political climate that is trying to erase trans people from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), from the military, and most recently, from protections in homeless shelters, it’s clear the government is not going to help this community in crisis. There’s no question that Black women face higher discrimination than non-Black women of color.
That means it’s on all of us–feministas, poderosas and activists of all kinds–to shine a light on this issue and take action. We honor the women who have been murdered and the women who keep the fight going. Call your representatives. Demand justice. Donate to charities that directly provide resources to trans women.
Instead of highlighting the violence these women endured, we’re highlighting what they did with their lives.
Dana Martin, 31, made headlines as the first transgender woman killed in 2019, and just like that, her 31 years of life were erased. She was found hot dead in her car on Jan. 10. Martin’s best friend told Out magazine that she loved Aaliyah, the movie Friday, and that, “She was a very private, sweet person. Dana didn’t bother nobody, period.”
“[She] never really said [she was trans]. [She] just did it. [She] was gone one day and the next day came and said, ‘This is me,'” another childhood friend recalls. “But all through school, Dana had always looked like a girl, has always been mistaken as a girl. There was never a time when people didn’t ask, ‘Are you a girl or a boy?’ I think it made it easier for [her] to just be like, ‘transgender is my thing.’”
Ashanti Carmon was rejected by her family, and living on the streets by the time she was 16 years old. The trans community looked after her for the next ten years of couch hopping and performing sex work. She had just moved in with her boyfriend and was looking for employment at fast food restaurants to no avail. She was back at the strip many trans women go to for sex worth when a drive-by shooter fatally shot Carmon. She was killed on March 30 while standing on K Street, a stirp in the nation’s capital known for sex workers.
Legato, 21, had begun her transition a few years ago. In a Facebook post on March 19, 2017, just two years before her death, she wrote:
“As I wake up everyday.. seeing the woman I’m becoming..👸🏼 I get scared cause it’s too good to be true really..😩 idk what the future holds and I’m excited asf!”🤗 they say all good things come to an end.. but this is one thing that can never be taken away from me.. who I am.. who I’ve always been.. 😌 CLAIRE..🦄✨💕 #feelslikeimdreaming”
Legato was shot in the head on April 15 during an argument between her mother and suspected shooter John Booth.
Muhlaysia Booker, 23, made news one month before her death, during what Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings described as “mob violence.” She was in a traffic accident that resulted in a mob of people viciously beating her in April. On May 19, Booker was found dead from a gunshot. A 33-year-old Dallas man has been arrested for her murder and is implicated in another murder of a trans woman in the Dallas area.
Michelle ‘Tamika’ Washington
Tamika was shot and killed in Philadelphia on May 19. The death was not treated as a hate crime since they don’t believe her gender identity was the motivator for the attack. Her friend of 20 years, Deja Lynn Alvarez, shared in a Facebook post, “Your memory will live and light will shine on through us.” She was known as a “gay mother,” to all in the community.
Paris Cameron, 20, was living out and proud to the very end. She was last seen celebrating her life with two good friends, Timothy Blancher, 20, and Alunte Davis, 21–both black gay men. All three were gunned down and killed in Detroit. The suspected shooters were charged for the murders and authorities believe the gender identity of Cameron and sexual orientation of her friends were factors in the violent crime.
Chynal Lindsey, 26, was born and raised in Chicago but moved to Arlington, Texas in the last few years. She went to Prairie State college and was working as an in-home health care provider. The same person who killed Muhlaysia has been linked as a possible serial killer targeting Black trans women in the Dallas area.
Chanel Scurlock, 23, died on June 6th, the first week of Pride month in Lumberton, North Carolina. One friend posted, “You [lived] your life as you wanted. I’m proud of you for being unapologetically correct about your feelings and expectations of YOU.”
Zoe Spears, 23, was a client of Casa Ruby. Ruby Corado describes her as “my daughter — very bright and very full of life. Casa Ruby was her home. Right now, we just want her and her friends and the people who knew her to know that she’s loved.” Her death, so closely after Ashanti Carmon left the trans community od Washington on edge as authorities attempted to find out if the deaths were connected.