Discrimination part of everyday life for Peru’s trans people

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04/06/2021

The attack on Gahela Cari came following a televised political debate in the form of a searing tweet from her opponent. Attached to it was an image of her Peruvian elections registration with her names and gender given at birth, all of which she no longer identifies with, highlighted in red. Many defended Cari, who is running for a seat in Peru’s Congress, but the tweet also garnered hundreds of likes and supportive comments. “Seriously, I don’t see where the discrimination is,” one person replied. Like most political candidates, Cari has faced attacks over her campaign proposals, but unlike the rest, she has had to fend off transphobic harassment in a socially conservative South American country with culturally entrenched discrimination against transgender people. Just last year, police officers forced a group of trans women to yell: “I want to be a man.” “It is extremely necessary for us to raise our voices, fight for our own representation within decision-making spaces,” Cari, 28, said ahead of Sunday’s elections. “I hope that, at some point, it is not news that a trans woman wins a seat in Congress or an award.”

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