First transgender congressional candidate in Chile

Valentina Verbal wants to represent center-right party RN in congress

First transgender congressional candidate in Chile
23 January 2013

South America could have its first transgender legislator if Valentina Verbal wins a seat in congress in next November’s election.

Verbal announced her candidacy last week and said in an interview with Santiago Times that she intends to lobby for a change in the laws that affect transgender people in Chile.

‘We have to change the law that recognizes the sexual identity of transgender people without the state obligating them to have an actual sex change,’ she said.

Verbal, who is currently coordinator of the trans commission at LGBT rights organization Fundación Iguales, has prompted surprise by choosing to represent center-right party National Renewal (RN).

‘The ideas of the center-right rest on the idea of basic human freedom,’ Verbal wrote in a blogpost defending her choice of political party, which she has been a member of since her youth.

‘Because of this, it seems logical that it is not enough to simply defend political and economic freedoms, but also to do the same with cultural freedoms, including the right to decide on sexual orientation and express freely gender identity.’

Verbal has yet to receive official support from the party, but RN senators Lily Pérez and Francisco Chahuán have verbally given her support.

Chile’s first transgender congressional candidate is the latest milestone in a progressive year for the South American country.

Last July the president signed hate crimes legislation into law which protects sexual orientation and gender identity minorities and in November the first openly gay councilman was elected in Santiago.  

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Ohio mom steps up campaign against Boy Scouts of America anti-gay rules

Jennifer Tyrrell: 'This movement doesn’t stop because 11 anonymous men behind closed doors made a decision to keep discrimination in place'
No thumbnail available

Germany: Russia’s anti-gay laws prove Putin is a ‘dictator’

Two top German ministers have said Vladimir Putin is leading Russia into a 'flawless dictatorship' after signing 'gay propaganda' bills into law
No thumbnail available

US ambassador to NZ condemns teen gay bashing

David Huebner's slamming of Zakk d'Larte beating brings 'new level of attention to the attack'
No thumbnail available

Dangerous AIDS denialists group sets up in Malaysia

Facebook group Movement Against the HIV-AIDS Theory set up in Malaysia
No thumbnail available

John Oliver attacked by pastor for his ‘malicious gay propaganda’

Scott Lively, who refuses to take credit for the anti-gay law in Uganda, says the Last Week Tonight host is a 'liar and a fraud'
Claridge House, 91 Mortimer Road, London

Claridge House, 91 Mortimer Road, London

A contemporary new home in NW10, one of London's hippest postcodes
No thumbnail available

More than 100 Canadian civil society groups demand concrete action on Sochi Games

A coalition of over 100 civil society groups in Canada have called for concrete action against homophobia during the Sochi Winter Olympics from the Canadian government and media, the IOC and the corporate sponsors of the 2014 games
No thumbnail available

New Lincoln biopic does not dwell on issues of sexuality

Award winning writer Tony Kushner discusses why his script for the film Lincoln does not cover the US president's alleged sexuality
No thumbnail available

Gay porn star arrested for masturbating in fire station

Nick Gonzalas, who uses the stage name 'Donny Wright', allegedly broke into the fire house and pleasured himself on top of the firefighters' gear
No thumbnail available

Three in five back gay marriage in Ireland

One fifth, or 22%, are still undecided of how they are going to vote in the May referendum