BUENOS AIRES – A transsexual who recently prevailed in a 10-year-long court battle to receive a new identity document recognizing her as a woman has been honored by lawmakers as Argentina’s “Woman of the Year.”
“I am what I am. The right of one person is the right of all,” Marcela Romero said during Tuesday night’s event in the Argentine Congress.
The honor was conferred by the lower house’s committee on women and the family.
Present for the ceremony along with lawmakers were Alejandro Freyre and Jose Maria Di Bello, who plan to wed here next week in Latin America’s first legally recognized same-sex marriage.
Romero urged legislators to quickly approve a bill ensuring civil rights for transsexuals and to scrap laws that “criminalize” transvestites.
“I don’t know democracy,” she told Todo Noticias television, recounting her experiences with discrimination. “I would have liked, for example, to go on studying, but I was rejected by the educational system when I assumed the identity of a woman.”
Romero, vice president of Argentina’s Association of Transvestites, Transsexuals and Transgender Persons, was chosen from among a dozen nominees for the award, including women active in combating poverty, drugs and environmental degradation.
Some in the audience walked out after the choice of Romero was announced.
Past recipients of the Woman of the Year prize include physicist Maria Teresa Dova and philosopher and academic Carolina Scotto, the first female chancellor of the National University of Cordoba. EFE