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I Have Rights


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The United Nations System in Peru says it loud and clear: trans people have the same rights as all others citizens.

Unfortunately, because of ignorance and prejudice, transgender people suffer constant violations of their rights since childhood, in their family, at school, at work and in many public spaces and services. Their right to gender identity is also not recognized.

To break these prejudices it is important to know more about the lives of trans people. Therefore, the United Nations System, transgender organizations and civil society present “I have rights”, a photographic collection by photographer Danielle Villasana.

Through this images we want to show the different facets of everyday life of trans women and men, so that we may recognize, raise awareness and promote their rights.



After many years, my family accepted me

“The most important thing is what you feel inside your heart and how you accept people or the opportunities you provide for your son or daughter to be happy, without names. The most important thing is what he wants to be and that he feels my support”, said Naidu´s mom”.

A person has the right of free development of personality. Art. 2.1 Political Constitution of Peru.



I’m the first trans woman taking part in a TV music show

“Art helps a lot to cope with problems.  Why aren’t we bold enough? Why don’t we decide to follow our dreams, why do we limit ourselves? Why not be one of the first transsexuals to participate in a very important contest that is known internationally?”.

Everyone has the right to participate in Cultural Life. Art. 27.1 The Universal Declaration of Human Rights.



We are a family now

“Having this family was difficult, I consider him my son and he considers me his dad. The laws will never allow me to adopt him because I’m labelled trans. He would like to tell kids who have dads like me not to be ashamed, they are not bad people”.

The family has the right to be protected by the State and Society. Art. 16.11 The Universal Declaration of Human Rights.



I found my way when I was going through a depression

“My teachers used to tell me: ‘Do you dress like a woman? Do you want implants?’ It’s hard to study when you are discriminated. If you take the time to know us, you would realize that there is a human being that is very similar to you. What is wrong with a person who is striving to be who he is?”.

No one should be a victim of torture, inhuman or humiliating  treatment. Art 2.24 Political Constitution of Peru.



I want to be a good point of reference for other women

“Our society closes its doors on us. We are discriminated because of ignorance. They see us as mentally ill people. Many are involved in sex work because they are pushed to do that. They tell me that they want to leave that work. There is no trans woman that can tell me ´I am proud to be a sex worker ´. Not one, I’m positive of that”.

Work gets priority by the State. Art. 23.1 Political Constitution of Peru.



More information is needed

“They should educate us from an early age. Everything starts there. Some people don’t know how to tell their parents, they are afraid. They are not happy” (Carusso). “I feel proud of my partner, he is a hard worker. We try to move forward together so people see that we aren’t scum, that we have a good life”. (Roxana)

Human rights training is mandatory in the education system. Art 14 Political Constitution of Peru.



In spite of everything, I have been working at the hospital for 8 years

“‘Better to work at night, when there are less people.’ ‘You have to come as you are on your identification card,’ they would tell to me. There are many intelligent women who have studied, but it means fighting against the entire system. What is the solution for these girls? Sex work”.

Work is a means of personal fulfilment. Art. 22 Political Constitution of Peru.



My life took an unexpected turn and I viewed it as a rebirth

“To make a living as a musician and to be trans is like committing suicide. I always found a job because I studied in the Conservatory. However, since I started to live like I always wanted, I don´t find work so easily. They are wrong, not me”.

Everybody has the right to an adequate standard of living that ensures health and welfare. Art. 25.1 of the Declaration of Human Rights.



I feel my life is similar to the life of a butterfly

“I thought that by drinking I would forget the pain I had inside. I heard about self-esteem lectures. I found a strong inner force, like a butterfly. You are in your cocoon locked in with your fears and you want to get out. When you get out, you fly! But we are still not free in this society. That’s why I got myself more involved in the fight”.

The human being and its dignity is the supreme purpose of Society and the State. Art. 1 Political Constitution of Peru.



I am one of the founding members of the first association of trans men

“They punished me by making me wear skirts, they threatened to take me to a psychologist, theyinjected me with female hormones to see if I would change. When I found out about the word ´transgender´, I knew that it defined me. The idea of Trans Society FTM Peru is to be able to do for others what I would have liked to have for me, information and emotional support”.

Everybody has the right to moral, physical and psychic integrity. Art 2.1 Political Constitution of Peru.



When I finished my English degree they wouldn´t let me practice in schools because I was trans

“I was admitted to university as a top student.  I was the first trans to be accepted into the university of Tarapoto. I did not imagine what would come after that. Everything went to garbage. We live in a closed society and we are marginalized”.

Every person has the right to work. Art. 23.1 The Universal Declaration of Human Rights.



Through activism I seek to prevent violence

“I am an activist because I want a better life for me and for others. It is a fight so that the younger generation feels free to speak about their sexual orientation. To stop bullying, to prevent suicides. This is why I decided to be an activist, I want this to end”.

Education seeks to strengthen respect for Human Rights. Art 26.2 of the Declaration of Human Rights.



I keep on fighting for equal treatment

“I told the doctor ´My name is Leyla Huerta´ and he says, ´Ok Mr. Huerta´. Watching how I am dressed and calling me ´Mister´ is intentional. You feel unprotected. Rights are not made for you. You don´t exist. We need a gender identity law”.

All are entitled to recognition of their Legal Status. Art 6 of the Declaration of Human Rights.



I always knew that I was different

“In my family, I was criticized for the way I dressed. It was not easy for me, but they understand me now. There are no human rights for us. We are people with values, with the same capacity to love, to be successful and to have a family. We are happy as we are. But, we would be even happier with society´s support”.

All human beings are born Free and Equal in Dignity and Rights. Art. 1 The Universal Declaration of Human Rights.



As an activist I continue supporting others

“The relationship with my sister is great. She has never questioned me. My message is that you can be happy being like this. I have become empowered from my identity because I have known how to defend it. Discrimination is strong but I think that these things make you stronger.”

Every person has the right to equality before the law. Art 2.1 Political Constitution of Peru.



We have a community house for trans women

“They find a peaceful space.” (Maricielo). “It’s important for a trans woman who has started her transformation to have someone.” (Hally) “The important thing is to feel good wherever you go.” (Alexandra) “We fight for our community.” (Thais) “We are normal people who want to live like everyone else.” (Frida)

Everyone has the right to assemble and associate peacefully. Art. 20.1 The Universal Declaration of Human Rights.




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