Apr 052013
Es momento de actuar para los jóvenes LGBTIQ

The First National LGBTIQ Youth Activists on the table were several issues affecting alike the population diversity, as the legislative delay or reverse some states regarding sexual rights, lack of access to justice, education, health and employment, the invisibility of other health problems in HIV care, and lack of reliable diagnostics that help describe the situation in the country. The challenges are many and the road is just beginning, so soon as it seeks to consolidate interstate strategies for working at particular points.

Currently experiencing a cyclical time to the work of civil society organizations, especially those dedicated to the defense of sexual rights and LGBT populations. The recent change in federal government and the elections that will be experienced this year in 14 states of the Republic, creating a political environment in which the work must rethink strategies to open the door to real progress.

Under this premise, organizations such as the Youth Coalition for Sexual Health Education (COJESS) LGBT Youth Mexico, Integral Health for Women AC (SIPAM), Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights, convened the First National Meeting Youth Activists held on 16 and 17 March and attended last about 60 participants from 15 states.

Foto: @ituss79

He explained to Reversible Roberto Perez Baeza, COJESS integral and a member of the coordinating committee, the objective of this event, and coordinate the efforts of activists in different states, was "building an agenda that has priorities policies that currently need as LGBTIQ youth nationally, a policy agenda that can be placed and worked from the advocacy in all states of the country. "

Thus, for two days, and roundtables engaged reflection on the various issues identified as priorities for LGBT communities in Mexico, such as health, employment, education, violence and discrimination, law, political participation and institutional strengthening. In each area specific consensus was reached and it was agreed to work interstate consolidate strategies at specific points.

The end result was established the National Network of Youth LGBTIQ activists, it will work as a coordination and already has one member from each of the five regions represented, and every link above subject.

From state to state, contrasting realities

One of the main concerns of activists around the country is that the legislative and policy developments that take place in Mexico City, a city considered advanced, at least in terms of sexual rights, not necessarily reflected in the rest of the entities. Moreover, in recent years some states have had serious setbacks.

"We are in a real crisis," says Sarah Calderon Vargas, of the Federation of University Women Baja California. In 2008, a deputy of the PAN, supported by legislators from the PRI blocs, New Partnership and a local party identified with conservative groups, promoted a reform bill to criminalize abortion in any causal. In 2011, a controversy over the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation to declare that reform unconstitutional, not taken effect.

The Local Criminal Code now stipulates a penalty of one to five years in prison for woman who interrupted her pregnancy, and up to ten for physicians performing the procedure. In an interview, Sarah who have proven that women are unprotected: "We have had cases of women with cancer in the General Hospital who were prohibiting termination of pregnancy even though they are in mortal danger."

"Baja California is extremely conservative and so are our politicians," said the activist. But that is no reason to stop working, and organizations take advantage of the situation for the next election to try to put issues on the agenda of the candidates and thus give greater visibility to these issues.

"We are initiating a dialogue from the civil society organizations to meet our candidates (...) This is scheduled for May, and we have high hopes that, despite his conservative positions, we get at least start some type of negotiation, "he explains.

A different situation occurs in Coahuila, to say Violeta Montenegro, a member of the lesbian Suns AC, an organization that focuses its work on the issues of empowerment and sexual health for lesbians. "You could say we go along," he says, while ensuring that many doors have been opened to the LGBT community in recent state governments.

Foto: @ituss79

Despite opposition National Action, in 2007 the Congress of Coahuila legislated to pass the Civil Solidarity Pact, a legal instrument that allows same-sex couples to receive some legal benefits. In addition, last month a local deputy Social Democratic Party (PSD) reported that boost equal marriage, considering that the scope of that agreement and insufficient.

Also, there Coahuila Address to Promote Equality and Prevent Discrimination, state agency founded in 2007 that is responsible for the creation of programs and policies aimed at eradicating discrimination on any grounds, including sexual orientation.

HIV, is the only health issue of the LGBT community?

The challenges and problems faced by LGBT groups in Mexico are wide: from the lack of appropriate laws to protect them until the obstacles to have free access to education and health services, or the workforce. However, to say the same Pérez Baeza, all of these issues have historically ignored because the work of organizations focused on the issue of HIV / AIDS.

"One of the main readings we have, at least in Mexico at this time, is that the issue of sexual diversity is being made invisible by the HIV issue," said the activist, to emphasize that one of the priorities of the National Meeting is reflect what the other needs of LGBT youth in Mexico.

With that match Sarah Calderon and Violeta Montenegro. The first recognizes that HIV is a problem of sexual diversity populations, but not the only, and regrets that there are "other needs that are not being met," as sexual health of lesbians, as information for this group is really limited.

Violet, meanwhile, is involved in a lesbian organization that besides HIV, addresses health issues such as breast cancer, cervical cancer, HPV and other sexually transmitted infections. The little information for lesbians, explains, generates the misconception that "do not gamble or not have unsafe sex for the contagion."

David Ochoa Duran, a native of Guadalajara and member of Diversities Cohesion for Sustainability AC (Codise), a Reversible detailed in the workshops for the health issue into the national meeting, it was agreed that one of the priorities is to "training in health centers, to develop a specific focus for people of sexual diversity, specifically lesbian and transgender people, so that doctors and nurses avoid discriminatory behavior or stigma within hospitals. "

There are no true diagnostic

Youth who participated in the various workshops explained to Reversible one of unanimous consensus within this national meeting was that in virtually any of the issues addressed in the absence of reliable diagnostics that help describe the situation of the country in terms of sexual rights.

Emmanuel Alvarez Brunel, a member of Ombudsgay, Federal District organization dedicated to defending the human rights of LGBT people, states that the central proposal of the bench in which he participated, the discrimination and violence, was the conducting a national survey focused on populations of sexual diversity, as they are currently performed, plus they are few, they do not provide sufficient data.

Later, the young will be coordinated for a national observatory of discrimination and violence, whose job is to monitor media and document cases arising throughout the country. If realized, this initiative will go beyond counts of hate crimes that perform local organizations. "This would be an observatory that involves all kinds of discrimination against the LGBT community," said Emmanuel.

Foto: @ituss79

The activist regrets that discrimination and violence continue to be two of the most acute problems facing LGBT youth in Mexico: "people who break those rules a bit (of heterosexuality) suffer any discrimination, from simple things like looks, comments or jokes, to harder stuff like that will prevent access to education, health or even kill themselves you ".

Also on the legislative aspect is necessary to perform an assessment of all states, which compare and clearly set out the different laws regarding all issues concerning LGBT populations: how many and which allow gay marriage, civil unions which, which recognize the right to identity trans people, which have anti-discrimination laws, and so on.

The legislation workbench "agreed to map or a census on laws that are for or against, or where there are loopholes in the existing laws; take a census and deepening of why the laws, how it has come to the dialogue, which is the main thing so we bet and be incisive in law, be participatory, "he explains in an interview with Marjane Jess, a young trans collaborating with in the closet of Sor Juana in Mexico City

Upon learning of this diagnosis, you can work in a more coordinated between the states, as they know where to put the incident and what could undertake joint actions in specific entities activists.

Sex education, the old demand unresolved

Kenlly Morales Pacheco, the organization Love is Love and student National Pedagogic University (UPN) Ajusco unit, Reversible account that the issue of sex education, one in which LGBT activism has focused historically, remains critical because they have not achieved the expected results and, therefore, can not be disregarded.

The right of children to receive primary scientific and devoid of moral and religious prejudices, remains unfulfilled. "There was talk at the table working from basic education sexuality is only as a form of play, never addressed the other hand, does not involve sex education in diversity," laments Kenlly.

When future teachers also concerned that his colleagues did not receive comprehensive training in sexuality, because that way continue perpetuating prejudices in their students. It is therefore necessary to "further promote the training of educators, who are capacitadxs to explain the issue. When your child has any doubt, the teacher or evade the issue or call things by wrong names. Generally not have this notion of the subject of sexuality in any criteria. "

What remains to be done to the network?

After the birth of the National Network of Youth LGBTIQ activists, participants of the meeting supported the topics that have to work are many and coordinate the work of groups from distant points of the country can be an arduous task.

David, Guadalajara, recognizes the connection that "as network remains organize a more structured because they were outstanding issues, such as mission and vision, but in this first instance laid the foundations of the committees of action."

However, as all participants agree on is that it should be a starting point to unite the efforts and trust that actually can be made concrete achievements.

Sarah returns to Tijuana "with little hope of making a real difference for our country and for the community," while Emmanuel remain in Mexico City with the firm intention to "keep in touch, keep in networks of organizations, share information, build on the we can and take action together. "

The work is a lot, but also the talent and determination of young people. In the words of David, "everything that involves joining forces always have positive results, and what better to let the young men and women, well, we just empapándonos have much knowledge but willingness to work and generate actions to change public policy our country. "

Joshua Cantorán Viramontes

It is time to act for young LGBTIQ: Side B