Since 2005, May 17th has been known as International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. More than just a date, it is a global opportunity to recognize that gender dissidence shows us that it is possible to fight against hatred from a place of transformation, commitment, solidarity and, above all, love. The movements led by LBTIQ+ people have prompted us to rethink ourselves politically within the UAF-LAC.
When we began to face the global health crisis, lesbian, trans, non-binary, intersex, and bisexual women movements alerted us of the profound inequalities and deficiencies they were facing in Latin America and the Caribbean. While we have always accompanied their resistance through our Rapid Response Grants (RRGs), never before had we received so many requests.
The actions and activities they proposed and continue to present despite the regional context of setbacks, criminalization, health crises, and uncertainty, encouraged us to make our criteria more flexible and to broaden our perspective to respond to the needs for protection and security. Through their stories we were able to learn about the limitations they were facing in accessing basic health, housing, and food services, the way in which the migration crisis affected these populations, and how trans people were being attacked after being elected to public office and exercising their political rights, among other significant and profound challenges.
Today we recognize all possible forms of love, and for this reason, we highlight a list of actions that were undertaken as part of our Rapid Response Grants. We thank those who carried them out and for the trust, they placed in the UAF-LAC. We want to continue building, strengthening, and nurturing the networks that allow us to meet and support the demands of the movement.
This organization has responded to crimes and hate speech against trans women via organized and strategic actions and has placed the importance of representation of black trans women in popularly elected positions on the public agenda. Through different campaigns, conferences, and public actions they have made it clear that their voice is the one that will speak about their needs.
Until 1997 homosexuality was considered a crime in Ecuador and was punishable by 8 years in prison. In 2019, the members of Nueva Coccinelle – including older adults – sued the Ecuadorian State for crimes against humanity committed against trans women before the criminalization of homosexuality was repealed, but the process was interrupted by the electoral process. The ties of solidarity and the drive to continue reclaiming memory led them to revive their demand in 2021.
This group arose at the time of the Penal Code modifications led by the Chamber of Deputies of the Dominican Republic, which represented a setback to the rights of LBTIQ+ people in the country. From that moment, alliances were formed with other feminist movements to mobilize in-person and on social media. This group is a sign that solidarity existing between movements can always be strengthened.
The collectives, including Rosas Mujeres de Lucha, provide us with lessons about how we can make our movements intergenerational. The organization is made up of trans women sex workers, some of them older adults. During the worst moments of the pandemic, the organization provided shelter, medicine, and food to women in every age group who were suffering from COVID-19 or who faced extreme precariousness because of the restrictions and confinement measures.