A group of 18 transgender Mexican abuelas have proven it’s never too late to celebrate your quinceañera.

The abuelas, who came out as transgender later in life, joined in throwing the collective fiesta of the century.

The women, aged 55 to 72, invited family and friends to join them as they embraced their womanhood and publicly celebrated their most authentic selves.

This group of 18 transgender women celebrated life and authenticity

All in all, 18 women, accompanied by their loved ones, attended the event. In addition to the party, the event organizers held a Catholic mass that served as a symbol of inclusion and acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community. However, finding a priest who would perform a service was a struggle.

Each woman received a crown from their respective godmothers and performed a choreographed dance with their family members and friends. The party celebrated their lives and bravery as trans women in a culture that’s becoming increasingly hostile towards them.

“It is a historic big step,” lifelong trans activist Denisse Valverde, who also organized the event, told El Tiempo. “We are setting a precedent.”

“This is a dream that we have always had. We used to look at these parties with excitement when we attended them, and we wanted to wear a quinceañera dress ourselves, but it never happened,” she added, noting that the life expectancy for trans women is 35.

The Quinceañera wasn’t just a celebration of the women in attendance. Instead, it spoke to a more considerable need within Mexico to champion the rights of all people, regardless of their gender identity.

Mexico is one of the most hostile countries in the world toward trans people

Latin America’s relationship with the trans community is complex. Although there are plenty of notable gay, lesbian, and transgender Latines, the region is responsible for significant violence against trans people.

Most of the murders committed against trans people happen in Latin America. Brazil ranks number one, with 1,741 murders while Mexico is second, with 649. Of the 4,369 murders reported between 2008 and September 2022, more than 75% of them occurred in Latin America.

Events like this are crucial to making progress. Latin American activists and queer communities fight for their rights daily.

This Quinceañera is a reminder of the fact that, regardless of our gender identities, we are all human beings who deserve love and support.