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Argentina Just Appointed The First Trans Chief Of Police In All Of Latin America And People Are Showing Tremendous Support

Credit: Fusion

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.

This tweet from @Oveja_Rosa reads “Beautiful news.”

People are celebrating her return to the police force and are so happy for her.

“Congratulations!” said @VocesLatinx

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.”

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[H/T] Argentina’s first transgender police chief on duty

READ: Her Transgender Son Helped The First Latina Senator In Florida Stand For LGBTQ Rights

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A Transgender Latina Who Was Deported From The US Was Murdered In El Salvador

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A Transgender Latina Who Was Deported From The US Was Murdered In El Salvador

A transgender woman who was deported from the US after seeking refuge from anti-LGBTQ violence in her homeland was murdered following her return to El Salvador, the Washington Blade reports.

When the woman, who was known as Camila, went missing, the Asociación Aspidh Arcoiris Trans, a trans advocacy group in the Central American country, started a search and discovered that she had been admitted to a hospital in San Salvador, the nation’s capital, on Jan. 31. She passed away on Feb. 3.

Authorities are still unsure what happened during the attack, but she was found outside the capital and transported to Rosales National Hospital with “multiple injuries.”

Camila entered the US on one of the migrant caravans last year after receiving threats because of her gender identity. According to Salvadoran activists, US officials did not believe her life was in danger and deported her back to her home country four-to-five months before her death.

“She migrated to the US because of threats that she had received, but she was deported because they didn’t believe her,” Aislinn Odaly, an independent LGBTI rights advocate, told the publication.

Camila is the second trans woman who was murdered in El Salvador this month. On Feb. 8, a woman named Lolita was killed with a machete in Sonsonate, but there are little more details surrounding her death.

According to the Washington Blade, neither El Salvador’s National Civil Police nor the country’s attorney general has classified the murders as hate crimes, particularly because Lolita and Camila died in public hospitals where reports didn’t identify them as victims of violence.

“We want justice and that these cases are investigated and the reformed penal code procedures to be applied when those who are responsible are found,” Alfaro told the Blade, alluding to a 2015 amendment to El Salvador’s legal code that enhances penalties for hate crimes based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

“Although we have begun the year badly, we hope these crimes establish precedents for there to also be a positive legal framework that regulates the situation of trans people, especially the situation of violence and insecurity,” she continued.

Read: In Chile, This School For Transgender Students Allows Kids To Learn In A Safe And Affirming Environment

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In Chile, This School For Transgender Students Allows Kids To Learn In A Safe And Affirming Environment

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In Chile, This School For Transgender Students Allows Kids To Learn In A Safe And Affirming Environment

Bullying and discrimination can make school feel impossible for transgender students. In Chile, many queer youth stop attending class to avoid intimidation, often falling behind or even dropping out. Amaranta Gomez School, an institution for transgender students in Santiago, Chile, is trying to change that.

Founded by the Selenna Foundation, an organization in the South American country protecting trans rights, in 2017, the school offers youth between the ages of six and 17 courses on math, science, history and English as well as workshops on art and photography. About 22 students attend the school, with an additional six expected to join soon. They are assigned to one of two classrooms based on their age.

“I’m happy here because there are many other kids just like me,” Alexis, a 6-year-old student who was bullied at his previous school, told the Associated Press.

A 2016 report by UNESCO said that in Latin America, school violence against students based on sexual orientation or gender identity harms “the development of the affected people, school coexistence, academic performance and, consequently, their permanence in school.”

Teachers at Amaranta Gomez, which was named after muxe activist and anthropologist Amanranta Gónez Regalado, work pro bono. In its first year, all school expenses were paid the Selenna Foundation’s president Evelyn Silva’s and the institution’s coordinator Ximena Maturana’s personal savings.

Starting in March, families will have to pay about $7 a month for their child to attend.

“We try to reduce the costs to the minimum (for families) so that they don’t say that (kids) are not attending because they don’t have pencils, and it becomes a reason to leave school,” Silva said.

Even with limited funds, the foundation has created a summer school program that offers dance and additional workshops to about 20 children, including some who do not attend Amaranta Gomez.

The school, the first of its kind in Latin America, is creating a safe space where children can learn, feel affirmed and have community.

“I feel free and happy here,” said Felipe, 15. “The environment is very good. Everyone who arrives is simply accepted.”

Read: Latinx Kindergarten Teacher Pens Bilingual Children’s Book To Teach Youth About Gender-Neutral Pronouns

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