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.”
Sometimes our familias can really surprise us. We want and expect them to understand everything we do and all that we are as individuals. And, of course, family should accept you for who you are. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.
Whether you come out as gay or maybe you’re in an interracial relationship, sometimes family disappoints us. Sometimes they hurt us by not allowing us to be happy.
But, often enough, there are stories of immense change and progress. Stories of “it gets better” permeate the Internet and give hope to countless others who may be facing the same family crisis.
One man is seriously pushing us to the verge of a full blown cry fest with their heartwarming story of acceptance.
In a Tweet that has since gone viral, one trans man shares a video of their dad giving them a fade and trimming their beard in the backyard.
In the tweet, they explain that when they first came out as trans, their family didn’t know what to do with them. But that after three years of a not always easy journey, things have gotten better for them and their family
They remind us all that family acceptance isn’t the only way in which things can get better though.
For some, family may never come around. This twitter user notes that they’ve lost a lot of family and friends on their journey. But as queer people often point out, it’s also about your chosen family.
They also point out the true significance of self love and surrounding yourself with a support system no matter what that looks like.
And yea, ok, their dad may not be the best barber.
They point out that yea maybe the dad messed up the haircut, but whatevs, that’s besides the point. The point is…get yourself a support system that cuts your hair in the backyard because they love you.
As so many trans people know, being a trans person in this country is not only dangerous, it can mean the end of family and important friendships.
While a recent Ipsos survey suggests people around the world are becoming more tolerant of transgender people, one expert warns the “encouraging” results are not inevitable. They take work.
And many in the community have real world experience in losing the people who once meant the world to them.
And for trans women of color, in particular, the US is a very dangerous place.
The average life expectancy of a black trans woman in the US is thought to be 35. Most of this year’s victims were still in their twenties.
Federally, trans people have also seen cutbacks in protections in shelter, health care, and incarceration under the Trump administration.
In a statement, the Human Rights Campaign said, “It is clear that fatal violence disproportionately affects transgender women of color, and that the intersections of racism, transphobia, sexism, biphobia and homophobia conspire to deprive them of necessities to live and thrive,” the organization said.
“This epidemic of violence that disproportionately targets transgender people of color — particularly black transgender women — must cease.”
But right now, Twitter was absolutely loving for this heartwarming story.
Gurl, saaaaame. As a queer person, it’s incredibly powerful to hear stories of family acceptance. And to see and understand the journey that some families take — it’s proof that change and progress is possible. Sometimes in those people from whom we’d least expect it.
Many couldn’t hold back their ugly tears.
But like don’t worry. Pretty much all of Twitter is ugly crying right there alongside you.
Some on Twitter wanted to share their own similar experiences.
This person wanted to point out that they have a step child who is in transition and that’s she’s fully supportive of her child.
While another tweet wanted to keep things real.
For some, family and friends may never come around to your authentic self. Unfortunately, this is a reality that many trans and queer people constantly face.
Because, sadly, for many, things don’t get better with their family.
Many people commented that they were happy and moved by this story of acceptance and progress. However, for many other people that moment of acceptance hasn’t come yet and many feel that it may never.
But we’re gonna leave it on a feel good note…
We’re happy for you @transtramposo and can’t wait to hear more about your journey with your accepting family. Keep sharing these heartwarming moments!
Warning: This story is contains accounts of sexual assault, and can be disturbing to some of our readers.
Two weeks ago, four police officers were accused of raping a 17-year-old-girl in their patrol car. Two days later, another officer was accused of raping a 16-year-old girl in a museum. Friday night, protesters took to Mexico City streets armed with pink glitter and spray paint to demand justice for the teenagers, and all femicide victims in Mexico. The next day, Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum, the city’s first female mayor, announced the suspension of six police officers implicated in the first case. The officer on patrol at the museum has been arrested.
Still, after nearly a century of living under a police force that women are taught to fear, the women who started the #NoMeCuidanMeViolan (“They don’t take care of me, they rape me”) movement are demanding a declaration of a gender alert in the capital, and tangible action to end femicide.
An estimated 300 women flooded Mexico City streets, and even covered Mexico City’s Secretary in pink glitter.
One officer had been arrested on the grounds of rape the day before the protest, but the four who allegedly gang raped a minor in their patrol car were still active duty on the force at the time of Friday night’s protests.
Signs from the protest ranged from, “My friends protect me, not the police,” to “Sailor Moon taught me that you can kill monsters with glitter.”
The women ended the march at the Angel monument, where they raised their held hands up high.
The Angel monument celebrates the independence of Mexico from Spain, and is the chosen setting for quinceañera photo shoots, and town celebrations. The monument is a symbol of justice and freedom.
The protesters didn’t feel heard by the government, so they made sure the public hears them.
The base of the Angel monument was covered in “Kill the Patriarchy” and “Rape State” phrases, along with a pink feminist symbol on the culo of the lion. By morning, city workers had already begun power washing and repainting the base, now barricaded from view by a wooden wall.
A spokesperson for the National Fine Arts Institute said they were assessing the damage, and that the institute “respects freedom of speech and offers support for actions to eradicate all forms of violence against women.”
Police body-barricaded the doors of their station after protesters spray painted “RAPISTS” on its windows.
In a statement, Mayor Sheinbaum said she perceived the protest as a “provocation.” Sheinbaum thinks the protesters “wanted the government to respond with violence. But we’re not going to do that.” The protests ended five hours later around 11 p.m. when paramedics arrived to treat the injured, 14 of whom were police officers. Sheinbaum has said that there will be consequences for the violence.
The most recent rape cases ignited the fire of an already explosive rage beneath the surface for women in Mexico.
The United Nations estimates that an average of nine women are murdered every day in Mexico. The UN defines femicide as the deliberate killing of a woman or girl because of their gender, often after other violent, sexual crimes.
The Mexican government’s records of femicide rates are so inaccurate, journalist María Salguero, 40, has taken it upon herself to create her own map of femicides in Mexico. Salguero suspects that the state seeks to minimize gender-based violence, so she tracks the femicides for herself. Using Google alerts, Salguero records all of Mexico’s femicidal horror stories of 11-year-old taking the bus home and being found in the very same bus the next day, raped and murdered.
Mexican police have a long history of brutality against women.
“In the late 90s cops kidnapped three girls, three underage girls,” tweets one #NoMeCuidanMeViolan protester. “They raped them, and forced them to clean, cook and do stuff for them. One of them escaped and that’s how this was known. The three families however experienced retaliation.”
These stories are embedded in the fabric of Mexican society. Women have taken to social media to share the lessons their mothers taught them: to run from police. Never make eye contact. “Police are well known in #MexicoCity for being the main source of violence and corruption,” a protester tweets. “In 100 years since the establishment is #Mexico as we know it, no one has brought the police to account.”
Other teenagers have taken to social media to deliver chilling anticipatory goodbyes to their families.
If Human Rights Watch says Mexican laws do not adequately protect women and girls against domestic and sexual violence,” and law enforcement is actively raping young girls, how could they possibly feel safe?
To those more upset over vandalism than the violation of women’s bodies and lives, here’s your translation for the above graffiti: “The walls can be cleaned, but the girls will never return.”
#NoMeCuidanMeViolan protesters do not want to be compared to #MeToo.
“This week in #Mexico feminists protested against the rape of a 17-year old by cops,” tweeted human rights lawyer and journalist, Gisela Pérez de Acha. “As justice is non-existent and the media criminalizes victims, the #MeToo hashtag does not suffice. Latin American feminisms are amazingly organized. #MeToo is not our paradigm #NoMeCuidanMeViolan”
Pérez de Acha is right. In the aftermath of the march, major media outlets’ reporting has focused on the damage from protesters, rather than from police officers.
Some protesters knew the media would bypass the femicide and rape crisis and focus on property damage.
After coming home from the march, one protester tweeted their “final thoughts” about what tomorrow would bring. “Tomorrow’s headlines will inevitably emphasize the destruction of property by women protesting Mexico’s crisis of rape and femicide.”
Mexico’s largest media outlet, El Universal, chose to focus on the counter-protesters, “With hashtag #EllasNoMeRepresentan [They don’t represent me] condemn acts of vandalism during feminist march.” ABC News‘ headline read “Mexico City assesses monument damage after anti-rape march.” The Independent‘s headline chose to focus on a “TV presenter punched live on air during protest.”
So far, the media has quoted more art historians than protesters.
In fact, in all the major U.S. outlets we reviewed, we haven’t seen a single protester quoted in their stories. Instead of spreading more statements from art historians, mitú is aiming to amplify the voices that make up #NoNosCuidanNosViolan.
“I’m thinking about who the media criminalizes and how,” Mexico City journalist Madeleine Wattenbarger tweets. “About what we consider violence, about how the symbolic violence of breaking a window has more impact than the direct violence of attacking, raping, killing a human being.”
Estamos contigo, México. ✊🏾
The case involving four police officers allegedly raping a 17-year-old in a patrol car has gone cold after prosecution said there were inconsistencies in the teen victim’s testimony.
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