An interview with Andrea Rivas, Familias Diversas Asociación Civil (AFDA), Argentina.
According to the law, LBT+ people in Argentina are guaranteed certain human rights, but we urgently need public policies that will ensure these rights are put into place in reality.
Argentina is going through an economic crisis, and the result has been high inflation and significant budget cuts in areas such as education and health, which are particularly important for LBT+ people. Alongside this we’re campaigning for comprehensive, secular sexual education which covers LBT+ experiences in all provinces of the country, and at all levels. At the same time, religious and conservative groups are campaigning against our human rights – we need to ensure the state does not bow to this pressure and restrict or undermine our rights.
We also see higher rates of unemployment and unstable employment in LBT+ people, so we need to ensure that stronger measures against workplace violence and discrimination are introduced. We also want labour laws to be reformed, so that a trans labour quota and equal parental leave could be introduced.
The LBT+ communities of Argentina say #NiUnaMenos (#NotOneLess). We stand against the murder of lesbians, bi women and trans people and demand that the state takes responsibility for eradicating this violence.
I hope to see our LBT+ communities increasingly empowered and leading a new wave of rights which will benefit everyone in our society. For example, more and more LBT+ people are demanding equal parental leave from their employers and unions, and there have been many successful cases so far.
The pressure this activism is generating will soon have to be recognised in law, and this in turn will help close the inequality gap. I also want to see public policies that guarantee the right of LBT+ girls and adolescents to receive sexual education which covers LBT+ and gender issues. We are making people increasingly aware that society’s expectation that all people will be heterosexual and cisgender amounts to violence – I hope that this work will create cultural change and bring about equality throughout our society.
It was an excellent experience! There is still almost no research on the LBT+ population in Argentina, nor an awareness among organisations or public institutions about what needs to change for them to achieve real equality. At the meeting I was able to improve my research skills and better explain the situation for LBT+ people in Argentina. So, this global project is already empowering our communities and organisations.
Being able to exchange ideas and experiences with activists from around the world and build a strong network with them was a highlight of my experience in London. When organisations who share the same goals are able to communicate and collaborate, it puts us in a position to achieve the change our communities need. This for me is critical, particularly considering the current political context of Latin America and the ongoing threat to LBT+ rights.