In El Salvador, transgender community struggles for rights and survival
May 19, 2023 -SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (AP) — Fabricio Chicas knows exactly what will happen. As soon as he hands in his ID, the employee on the other side of the counter will look at him with suspicion, asking why he carries a document that identifies him as female.
Whether it is a bank, a hospital or a human resources office, the 49-year-old Salvadoran provides the same answer: I am a transgender man who has not been able to change his name and gender on his ID.
His fate is shared by many transgender people in El Salvador, a Central American country where the influence of Catholicism and evangelicalism is pervasive, abortion is banned, and the legalization of same-sex marriage seems unlikely for now.
In 2022, the country’s Supreme Court determined that the inability of a person to change their name because of gender identity constitutes discriminatory treatment. A ruling ordered the National Assembly to enact a reform that facilitates that process, but the deadline expired three months ago, and the lawmakers did not comply.