Three lives, one message: Stop killing Mexico’s transgender women

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01/31/2021

Mexico is the second most dangerous country in the world to be transgender, according to human rights groups. Only Brazil has higher rates of transphobia and violence against the trans community. Most attacks go unpunished, including murder. Three women are fighting for change. In a small paved patio beneath a bust of the Virgin de Guadalupe, Ariel Hernandez Serrano’s lilting voice echoes across her rundown corner of Iztacalco, the most densely-populated borough in Mexico City. Accompanied only by a classical guitarist, she performs a poignant rendition of a Mexican folk song, La Llorona, meaning The Weeping Woman. The music itself originates far from the bustle of the capital, in the south-eastern state of Oaxaca, and Ariel’s version includes phrases in the indigenous Zapotec language. Bleached-blonde and invariably smiling, Ariel says she is trying to achieve two things with her music: to help preserve Mexico’s fast-disappearing indigenous languages, and to give greater visibility to the country’s marginalised trans community.

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