DON’T TELL US WHO WE ARE

Yren Rotela and Mariana Sepúlveda - Paraguay

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Protesting to exist

Yren and Mariana just want the same rights as everyone else. They want to be legally known as who they are, and not who society tells them they are. Take action now.

They want to live their lives freely and do things they love, like playing volleyball, dancing and going to the theatre. However, as trans women, Yren and Mariana are busy defending themselves against discrimination. They have been bullied, physically attacked, and prevented from speaking out about the issues they face in their daily lives.

Trans people in Paraguay cannot legally change their names or obtain identity documents that match their gender identity, among other discriminatory practices. For example, this means trans students cannot get school certificates in their chosen names, which makes it difficult to find a job when they leave school. This inequality has motivated Yren and Mariana to become activists and demand change.

But protesting isn’t easy for trans people in Paraguay, a very conservative country which treats trans people and the wider LGBTQIA+ community unfairly. It tries to make them invisible. Because of this, protests by trans groups are often banned, and in some cases, demonstrations have been attacked.

Yren and Mariana are fighting to change their legal names. If they could get documentation that matches who they are, it would mean the state would be starting to recognise their existence, and that of other trans women as well. As Yren says, “I came into the world to show who I am, not to be told who I am.”

Tell Paraguay to legally recognise the identity of trans people so they can exercise their rights.

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