Trans people in Argentina would be identified by Robert Castel¹ as a group living in a state of “social insecurity” and seen as a “dangerous class” by more secure social sectors seeking a scapegoat. Just like suburban youth face stigmas in the context of social insecurity; trans people are heavily discriminated against in the context of a patriarchal society.
In Argentina, the legal recognition of gender identities continues to be a gateway to other rights – a construction that is still underway. While we wait for the implementation of the access to health stated in the National Gender Identity Law, the National Ministry of Health installed “LGBTI–friendly clinics” in more than ten locations in the country. These clinics have staff trained on the perspective of sexual diversity and are equipped with tools that promote access to health, including, in some cases, hormone treatment for trans people.
On the other hand the Ministry of Labour is supporting the inclusion of trans people among Insurance Training and Employment which allows trans people to pursue job training, finish their primary and secondary education, participate in employment support workshops, and receive support on independent economic employment. The Ministry of Social Development has a division for sexual diversity designed to engage with other ministries to assist LGBTI people in localities with bigger difficulties.
Another important policy in our country has been the launch of the “Municipal Social Protection Program for Transvestites, Transsexuals, Transgender, Trans Men and Intersex People” in Lanús, a municipality in the southern peripheries of Buenos Aires. It was launched in 2014, and aims to “ensure a minimum level of social protection” for unemployed trans people over 16 (sixteen) years old, or who are employed but earn an income below the minimum living wage. The program provides monthly financial support of $85.00 (USD) as well as access to social benefits for food, health, housing and employment support, thus shaping the policies aimed at this group.
In this sense, Argentina is one of the countries in the world making the greatest advances for LGBTI people, and at this historic time it faces several challenges: defend the gains made in the last ten years while support for the conservative party grows, deepen policies that guarantee non-discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity (particularly in more impoverished and less visible sectors), and achieve social inclusion for all, but specifically for LGBTI people who suffer multiple violations of their human and social rights.
¹ CASTEL, R. “La inseguridad social: ¿Qué es estar protegido?”, Ed. Manantial. Bs. As. (2004).
– Darío Arias is the Youth Association for Diversity Coordinator in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He serves as Regional Board Member for ILGA-LAC. Follow Darío on Twitter @fuerzacristina and @DarioArias83.