A transgender woman has spoken out about the injustices and violence trans women face in Guatemala
Guatemalan transgender woman Linda Elizabeth Tylor Martinez has spoken out about being forced to live in two worlds.
In a profile interview with The Associated Press, Martinez works as a male schoolteacher during the day and as a female prostitute at night.
‘In the beginning it was out of necessity because I was still getting my teacher’s license,’ she said.
‘But now, it’s also because it’s the only place that I can really be a woman.’
Martinez says she cannot ever come out as a trans woman at work, saying ‘I try and make sure they never find out.’
Guatemala has a shocking reputation for transgender hate crimes. A 2010 report showed that 13 trans women were murdered over one year.
Fearing repercussions, she would not allow The Associated Press to use her teacher name or interview others at the school.
In the Central American country, transgender people are openly discriminated against and face violence from a vicious police force.
On 20 September, a Guatemalan trans activist was saved from being deported at the last hour by a Denmark court.
Fernanda Milan came to Denmark to escape threats from the police at home, and was soon placed in a male detention center where she was raped by ‘many men’.
Following the news she was going to be deported, protests in London and Copenhagan were held earlier this month.
In a video for the Save Fernanda Milan campaign, Milan said: ‘As far as being a transgender person in Guatemala is probably the most dangerous.
‘Being an activist is double dangerous because of the media attention comes into you so that makes you a target and more vulnerable to attacks and extra-judicial execution and discrimination.’
However she has now been scheduled for deportation again.