In El Salvador, transgender community struggles for rights and survival

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05/19/2023

Fabricio Chicas knows exactly what will happen. As soon as he hands in his ID, the employee on the other side of the counter will look at him with suspicion, asking why he carries a document that identifies him as female. Whether it is a bank, a hospital or a human resources office, the 49-year-old Salvadoran provides the same answer: I am a transgender man who has not been able to change his name and gender on his ID. His fate is shared by many transgender people in El Salvador, a Central American country where the influence of Catholicism and evangelicalism is pervasive, abortion is banned, and the legalization of same-sex marriage seems unlikely for now.

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