For Queer Spaniards, the Stakes in This Week’s Elections Couldn’t Be Higher

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07/18/2023

Lucía Sobral first figured out that she was trans because of Twitter. Growing up, the Gran Canaria native struggled to interact with boys and feared taking off her shirt, but it was not until she discovered other trans people online that she was able to understand herself. At 18, she transitioned, a process supported by her family and friends, who started calling her Lucía. “It was very respectful and fantastic,” Sobral, now a 20-year-old student of Maths and Physics at Universidad Complutense in Madrid, told me in an interview in Spanish. “I am happier this way.” On March 2, Sobral became one of the first Spaniards to change her legally registered gender after the passage of the country’s new LGBTI Law, which de facto recognized people’s right to gender self-determination. The legislation abolished the need to undergo two years of hormone treatment and exhibit a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria in order to legally transition.

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