Niray Velafont is a trans woman, legal assistant, sex worker and human rights activist working with REDMMUTRANS in Guatemala City.
“RED MULTICULTURAL DE MUJERES TRANS DE GUATEMALA (REDMMUTRANS) was founded in 2011, in Guatemala to support trans women of different cultural backgrounds, such as Maya, Garifuna, Xinca and mestizas, in a social, cultural and political context where we are discriminated for our gender identities and expressions, our ethnic and racial backgrounds, and because of our activities as sex workers. Since 2012 REDMMUTRANS has legal recognition.
Transphobia, machismo, and misogyny are deeply rooted within Guatemala; a country that doesn’t have any laws, government policies, initiatives or programs to protect and defend trans people from the countless human rights violations we are subjected to.
Stigma and discrimination prevent us from accessing health services and make us vulnerable to sexually transmitted infections including HIV/AIDS. Similarly, our access to education and work are conditioned by normative ideas that often label us as sick and unwanted.
We are a multicultural network of trans women that promotes equality of rights for gender and sexual diversity. We seek to build an inclusive society and State.
Our basic principles
1. We demand the Guatemalan State to publicly recognize our existence in accordance to our self-determined gender identities.
2. We demand a respectful national health service that recognizes our gender identities free from prejudice and stigma.
3. We demand a national gender identity law that would protect us from discrimination and allows us to legally change our names in national ID cards.” — REDMMUTRANS