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Argentina launches non-binary ID cards in first for Latin America

Non-binary identities have "always existed" and should be "respected", says Argentinian president Alberto Fernandez.

2021-07-22

Words: Alastair James; pictures: Wiki

Argentina has allowed non-binary people to identify as such on ID cards.

People will now be able to choose an ‘X’ option, as well as “undefined” and “unspecified”, as per Deutsche Welle (Germany’s international broadcaster).

Argentina’s President, Alberto Fernandez, has reportedly handed out the first of the new ID cards at a ceremony on Wednesday (21 July).

“There are other ways to love and be loved”

Officially announcing the changes, Fernandez said: “There are other ways to love and be loved. There are other identities apart from the identity of a man or a woman, and they should be respected, and they have always existed. Only in other times, they were hidden”.

Posting on Twitter, he celebrated Argentina being the first Latin-American country to introduce such a change, adding: “We are making possible what seemed impossible.”

Also celebrating the news, Argentina’s LGBT Foundation (FALGBT) said: “All identities are valid!”

As far as LGBTQ rights go, Argentina is pretty well advanced in comparison to many other countries in the region.

While Equaldex does register some areas where discrimination still takes place, it charts that LGBTQ people are able to donate blood, adopt and conversion therapy is banned, something the UK still lags behind on. The UK has also only recently changed the rules on men who have sex with men donating blood as well.

In June, Argentina passed a law reserving 1% of public sector jobs for transgender people, while Stonewall’s 2018 report on LGBTQ rights in the country shows very progressive victories for the whole community.

However, Stonewall also says that there is a difference between the legal reality and people’s lived experiences, stating that many people refrain from disclosing their sexuality or gender identity for fear of harassment.

It also states that while the country is very progressive on trans rights, the average life expectancy of a trans person is 42 and few hospitals provide medical support for those transitioning.

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