LGBT activists gathered Monday at Mérida’s Monumento a La Patria to demand respect for the human rights of gay, bisexual and transgender people.
International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia is observed yearly in May to raise awareness of LGBTQ+ rights violations across the world.
The demonstration attracted nearly 100 people, many of whom flew pride and trans flags while chanting slogans like “LGBT rights are human rights.”
Despite gaining a greater degree of acceptance, participants at the event argued that Yucatán was still an extremely homophobic and transphobic state.
That being said, the acceptance of people of the LGBTQ+ community seems to be improving, especially in cities like Mérida and Valladolid.
“It would have been almost unthinkable to see a same-sex couple walking hand in hand down Paseo de Montejo 20 years ago, but thankfully this is changing fast,” said activist Charlotte España.
But when it comes to transgender people, much stigma and confusion still exist in the state. Though here again, attitudes are beginning to change, even if the progress can appear quite slow.
“Trans people in Yucatán have a very hard time when it comes to getting access to basic health and legal services. There is still so much ignorance out there,” said Trillo Herrera of Yucatrans, a not-for-profit transgender support organization.
Organizers of the event also reminded the public that it was not until 1973 that the American Psychiatric Organization ceased to characterize trans individuals as suffering from a psychiatric disorder.
In recent years the trans community has become much more visible in Yucatán and often organizes events and fundraisers.
Last year, Yucatán’s legislature passed a new bill making same-sex marriage legal across the state.