Mexico City to open a clinic for transgender people

The life expectancy of transgender people in Mexico is 35-years old

Mexico City to open a clinic for transgender people
Official Jesús Esteva Medina explained announced the clinic will have five areas - Photo: Sashenka Gutiérrez/EFE
English 13/09/2020 12:40 Eduardo Hernández Mexico City Actualizada 12:47
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Mexico City will invest MXN 18 million in the construction of a clinic for the transgender community. It will be located in a building formerly used by the Institute of Epidemiological Diagnosis and Reference (InDRE). 

Official Jesús Esteva Medina explained the clinic will have five areas: admission, control, archive, pharmacy, and warehouse. It will have offices for general medicine, endocrinology, urology, psychiatry, and dentistry. 

Moreover, it will have four additional units: three psychology offices and one counseling office. The clinic will also provide human rights and sexual health counseling. 
 
The construction will begin this year, and the project could be ready before the end of the year. 

Recommended: Trans women in Mexico act in solidarity during the COVID-19 pandemic

Transgender people

According to the World Health Organization, transgender women are around 49 times more likely to be living with HIV than other adults of reproductive age with an estimated worldwide HIV prevalence of 19%; in some countries, the HIV prevalence rate in transgender women is 80 times that of the general adult population. However, the WHO adds that “little data is available for transgender men or other transgender populations.”

The organization explains transgender people have low rates of access to health and HIV services due to a range of issues including violence, legal barriers, stigma, and discrimination.

The World Health Organization works with international and country partners to address the varied health needs of transgender people, including HIV prevention, diagnosis, and treatment while also supporting partners to address structural barriers that impact service access by transgender people.

Moreover, violence against transgender people is common (including police abuse, the abuse perpetrated by clients of sex workers, and intimate partner violence). Furthermore, transgender people may experience family rejection, violation of their rights to education, employment, and social protections and as such experience higher rates of unemployment, poverty, housing insecurity, and marginalization.

A lack of legal recognition of transgender in most countries contributes to their exclusion and marginalization.

Recommended: Pussypedia, an encyclopedia for cis, trans, non-binary, and intersex people

The struggle for transgender identity in Mexico

For years, Mexico’s transgender community has demanded spaces free of violence where they may live and develop like any other social group.
 
Jessica Marjane Durán, founder and coordinator of Mexico’s Trans Youth Network, explains that “spaces for the participation of trans women must be made free of violence,” though she was also critical of the Miss Universe beauty pageant and the inclusion of two trans women from Spain and Mongolia in the pageant, which had never been done before.
 
“We need to ask ourselves to what extent these spaces have been helpful for us and where their interests lie. We should know that beauty pageants reproduce an ancient stereotype of women who compete for their personal image, and the struggle for transgender identity should not be limited to that. But the matter of hate crimes is even more worrying, and one of the most important problems that we need to address,” she stressed.
 
In an interview with EL UNIVERSAL, Marjane Durán insisted that “we should not condemn trans women to be defined by their image,” after explaining that one of the organization’s main goals was the defense of human rights, as well as the legal and affective support of transgender women.
 
“The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the OAS has estimated that a transsexual’s life expectancy is of barely 35 years. This becomes clear when we observe cases of trans women who are murdered in our country,” she claimed.
 
One example is Alaska Bout, who was crowned Gay Queen of 2018 in Mexico and was found dead in July in Veracruz, becoming the 15th transsexual woman to be murdered in the state that year.
 
Marjane Durán stated that discrimination has devastating effects on society because it translates into the victimization of sexual diversity through hate crimes. “How can we expect authorities to guarantee our right to life when impunity has been normalized?”
 
In August 2018, the creation of a special attorney’s office specialized in crimes involving the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transvestite, transsexual, and inter-sexual community (LGBTTTI) was announced in Mexico City, meant to handle cases of discrimination based on sexual orientation, though sex crimes and murder were not included.
 
In the opinion of Marjane Durán, the measure is insufficient to address the community’s struggles: “The laws exist, but they are rarely enforced,” she claimed. “We need to rethink the types of violence we suffer and think of ways to eradicate it. We need to deal with hate speech directly because there is no way to uphold a neutral stance in this case. We need to foster empathy in society so that we may transform this social landscape that seems so full of uncertainty,” she highlighted.
 
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