Yren and Mariana fight tirelessly for the human rights of LGBTQIA+ people in Paraguay. As trans women, they are busy defending themselves against discrimination. They’ve been bullied, physically attacked and prevented from speaking out about the issues they face in their daily lives.
Trans people in Paraguay cannot legally change their names or obtain identity documents that match their gender identity, among other discriminatory practices. This means trans students cannot get school certificates in their chosen names, which makes finding a job difficult. This inequality has motivated Yren and Mariana to become activists, to demand change.
Yren and Mariana have been fighting for years to change their legal names. If they could get documentation that matches who they are, it would mean the state had started to recognize their existence as trans women. As Yren says: “I came into the world to show who I am, not to be told who I am.”
Protesting isn’t easy for trans people in Paraguay. Paraguay is a very conservative country which treats trans people and the wider LGBTQIA+ community unfairly. It tries to make them invisible. Because of this, protests by trans groups are often banned, and in some cases demonstrations have been attacked.
Guaranteeing the legal change of Yren and Mariana’s names is an act of recognition by the Paraguayan state of the existence and identity of transgender people, a collective that historically has been and continues to be invisible, discriminated against and marginalized, and a step forward in the long struggle for their demands to be heard and addressed by institutions.
Thousands of people have already signed the petition, calling on Paraguay to legally recognise the identity of trans people like Yren and Mariana. Decision-makers need to see that people around the world are standing with Yren and Mariana, and we can do that right now!