QUITO – Transgender couple from Ecuador, Diane Rodriguez and Fernando Machado, are eagerly awaiting the birth of their first child in June next year, conscious of the intolerance and discrimination the child could be subjected to.
Diane (born Luis), 33, and her Venezuelan husband Fernando (born Maria), 22, are activists of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender, or LGBT community, and have been together for the past two and a half years.
Diane told EFE she learnt of Fernando’s pregnancy around the beginning of October during an LGBT meet in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
On returning to Guayaquil, their city of residence, the couple decided not to find out the sex of their child, expected in the first week of June.
“One always wants to know the sex of the child, to later assign a code of behavior” depending on whether it’s a boy or a girl; so we decided to refrain from finding this out, as a response to the “patriarchal culture” prevalent in society, said Diane.
“There is no denying we are curious, but regardless of whether it is male or female, we aren’t going to stereotype,” she underlined and stressed the child will decide his own future – “hippie or businessman, Right-wing or Leftist, it will be his problem, and his decision.”
Diane pointed out the conception occurred “naturally” through sexual impregnation, and thinks it may be the reason why conservative sections of the country’s Catholic Church, otherwise critical of several LGBT initiatives, have not reacted to the news of her husband’s pregnancy so far.
However, she also made it clear they will not stop fighting for adoption or in-vitro fertilization rights for the community, so that everyone may raise a family.
Admitting their case is a “taboo” even within the LGBT community, she said they too could have children, and it is as valid an option as adoption or other forms of conception.
She then spoke of discrimination faced by transgender people on the employment front, as they are not considered for jobs even when they may have the required academic qualification.
The activist admitted significant strides in the area had been made in the last few years, but insisted on a targeted campaign to raise awareness about the rights required by individuals of different sexual orientations, “like any other human being.”