Nov 17, 2012

ANOTHER MILESTONE IN CUBA: Adela Hernandez, first known transgender person to hold public office UPDATE: Transgender Day of Remembrance 2012

¨Adela Hernandez, a biologically male Cuban who has lived as a female since childhood, served two years in prison in the 1980s for "dangerousness" after her own family denounced her sexuality.

This month she made history by becoming the first known transgender person to hold public office in Cuba, winning election as a delegate to the municipal government of Caibarien in the central province of Villa Clara.

In a country where gays were persecuted for decades and sent to grueling work camps in the countryside, Hernandez, 48, hailed her election as yet another milestone in a gradual shift away from macho attitudes in the years since Fidel Castro himself expressed regret over the treatment of people perceived to be different.

"As time evolves, homophobic people — although they will always exist — are the minority," Hernandez said by phone from her hometown.

Becoming a delegate "is a great triumph," she added.

Because she has not undergone sex-change surgery, Hernandez is legally still a man in the eyes of the Cuban state: Jose Agustin Hernandez, according to the civil registry. Hernandez, who switched back and forth between feminine and masculine pronouns when referring to herself during an interview, said she hasn't made a decision to seek an operation but doesn't rule it out either.

Hernandez won office in early November by taking a runoff vote 280-170. Her position is the equivalent of a city councilor, and her election makes her eligible to be selected as a representative to Parliament in early 2013...¨ HERE

Transgender Day of Remembrance 2012: Never Forget Our Dead
Dallas, Texas, and around the globe – The 14th Annual International Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) is set for November 20, 2012. Women, men, youth, and queer folk of every stripe will be gathering throughout the week, and especially on this coming Tuesday evening, to memorialize our Transgender Sisters and Brothers, gender variant people who have not yet identified, and those perceived to be Transgender who have lost their lives to unreasoning hatred since this time last year.
The first TDOR was established to remember the murder of Rita Hester who died on November 28, 1998–a case that has never been solved to this day. The heinous character of hate crimes against gender variant people is compounded by the fact that so many of these homicides remain, like Rita’s, unsolved, with no one brought to justice...¨

Thanks to ABC News
Thanks to Associated Press
Thanks to Adela Hernandez
Thanks to Towleroad, sidebar
Thanks to Unfinished Lives, sidebar

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