South America




Court strikes down Guyana law banning trans people dressing according to their gender

Previously it was illegal for people to dress ‘in clothing of the opposite sex’ The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) ruled against a law in Guyana banning men and women from going into public places ‘dressed in clothing of the opposite sex for an “improper purpose”‘. In their ruling, the CCJ deemed the law unconstitutional.… Read more »

Trans people in Uruguay can now self-identify their gender, without surgery

Uruguay just took huge steps towards equality with a tonne of new trans laws Transgender people in Uruguay are celebrating after the country’s Congress passed a comprehensive trans law yesterday (18 October). The law brings in a host of new rights for transgender people. Most notably, trans people can now self-identify their gender and update… Read more »

2018 is turning into the most deadly for LGBTI people in Brazil

More than 300 people have been killed this year, the highest number yet in Brazil The rate of murders and violence against LGBTIs in Brazil has jumped likely making 2018 the most deadly year ever. More than 300 people have already been murdered this year, by this time last year, 220 LGBTIs had been killed.… Read more »

In pictures: Expelled for being gay

Brazilian photographer Nayara Leite has been exploring the lives of six Brazilian homosexuals who were expelled from their homes when they told their families they were gay. Leite asked them to send her a happy photograph of them as a child, which she then burnt – an act she feels reflects the rejection they had… Read more »

Activists take to streets for Guyana’s first LGBT Pride parade

LGBT activists in Guyana peacefully held the country’s first ever Pride parade over the weekend. Guyana is the only country in South America to criminalise homosexuality, under Colonial-era laws, and LGBT people still often face discrimination. ? But campaigners in the country risked arrest on Saturday (June 2) when they took to the streets for… Read more »

São Paulo’s gay pride parade – in pictures

Hundreds of thousands of people have gathered in Brazil’s largest city for its 22nd annual celebration. Waving rainbow flags in a Carnival-like atmosphere, marchers paraded down the skyscraper-lined Avenida Paulista on Sunday to music blasting from 18 sound trucks, with revellers of all ages filling more than 10 city blocks A striking costume and rainbow… Read more »

Thousands revel in Brazil’s gay pride parade

Sao Paulo — Hundreds of thousands of people gathered in Brazil’s largest city Sunday for its 22nd gay pride parade, which is considered one of the world’s biggest. Waving LGBT rainbow flags in a Carnival-like atmosphere, marchers paraded down Sao Paulo’s skyscraper-lined Avenida Paulista to music blasting from 18 sound trucks. Revelers of all ages,… Read more »

Colombia’s indigenous transgender women find refuge, freedom working on coffee farms

Francy came to work at the coffee farms five years ago. (Lena Mucha) Yuliana and her colleagues head home after work. (Lena Mucha) Although photographer Lena Mucha had worked with indigenous communities while studying anthropology, she had never approached them with a camera. But after reading an article that one of her friends wrote about… Read more »

Colombia’s LGBT community may not be benefiting fully from reparations system

When Aura Hinestroza talks about her life, she divides it in two chapters: “The Aura who was happy, and the Aura who came after,” Hinestroza said. Eighteen years ago, Hinestroza was working as a journalist in Chocó, a western region in Colombia. She got a tip about the FARC, or the Revolutionary Armed Forces of… Read more »

An incredible court ruling just ordered 16 countries to make same-sex marriage legal

A landmark court ruling has ordered 16 new countries to make same-sex marriage legal. The Inter-American Court of Human Rights reached a decision today on a marriage equality petition submitted two years ago by Costa Rica President Luis Guillermo Solis. 20 countries agreed to follow the court’s rulings when they signed the American Convention on… Read more »

In Brazil, soccer has been mainly a straight guy’s sport. A new gay league is changing that.

Rio De Janeiro — Douglas Braga left his home in rural southeastern Brazil when he was 12, moving to Rio de Janeiro to pursue the Brazilian dream and become a professional soccer player. Training up to eight hours a day, he had to drop out of high school. He turned professional when he was 16,… Read more »

100,000 March For Marriage Equality, Transgender Rights In Chile

Tens of thousands of activists on Saturday joined a protest in Santiago, Chile to demand passage of laws that would extend marriage rights to gay and lesbian couples and protect transgender people. According to organizer the Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation (Movilh), 100,000 people attended the protest. Demonstrators marched from Plaza Italia to Plaza… Read more »

Uruguay’s first out trans senator vows to stand up for LGBT+ rights

Michelle Suarez, Uruguay’s first out trans senator, has vowed to stand up for LGBT+ rights in the country. Suarez earlier this month became the first transgender senator in Uruguay. The 34-year-old politician took her seat in the upper chamber of Congress on 10 October. And in a new interview, Suarez has vowed to stand up… Read more »

Thousands protest ruling to overturn ban on ‘conversion therapy’ for gays and lesbians in Brazil

Thousands of demonstrators gathered in downtown Sao Paulo on Friday to protest a court’s recent decision to overturn an 18-year ban on conversion therapy meant to “cure” gay people. Chants of “it’s not a disease” could be heard over songs including Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” as protesters flew rainbow flags and held banners demanding… Read more »

Brazil legalises ‘gay cure’ therapy as court rules homosexuality is a disease

Brazil has re-legalised so-called “gay cure therapy” as a judge deemed homosexuality to be a “disease”. Judge Waldemar Claudio de Carvalho overruled a 1999 resolution by the Federal Council of Psychology which prohibited the treatment of homosexuality by psychologists. The federal judge in Brasília ruled in favour of a psychologist whose license was revoked for… Read more »

The Uruguayan government is drafting a law to pay reparations to transgender people

Sandra Valin, who is transgender, was born in 1974 and said growing up in Uruguay, her mom wouldn’t allow her to leave home alone. “When I was a kid I was a target because I was flamboyant and feminine, it was horrible, and it didn’t end with the dictatorship – the persecution continued into the… Read more »

Chile’s president introduces same-sex marriage bill

Will Chile become the fifth South American country to pass marriage equality? Chile’s president Michelle Bachelet will formally introduce a bill to allow same-sex couples to get married. The measure will be introduced on 28 August. Chilean LGBTI advocacy group the Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation, has said the marriage and an adoption bill… Read more »

Guyana, Jamaica differ on putting LGBT rights to a vote

In Guyana, officials have backed away from the idea of holding a referendum on whether to recognize the human rights of LGBT people, but Jamaican officials are now discussing just such a plan as the only way they would allow a repeal of Jamaica’s “buggery law.” LGBT activists hate the idea of putting human rights… Read more »

Colombia gets first ‘polyamorous family’ as three men legally established as unit

Three gay men say they have gained legal recognition as the first “polyamorous family” in Colombia, where same-sex marriages were legalised last year. “We wanted to validate our household… and our rights, because we had no solid legal basis establishing us as a family,” said one of the men, actor Victor Hugo Prada, in a… Read more »

Guyana will not hold a referendum to decriminalise homosexuality, despite widespread reports

Guyana, the only South American country which still bans same-sex sexual activity, will not hold a referendum to give voters the choice to decriminalise homosexuality – despite media organisations claiming the opposite. The news published by several Guyanese local media organisations was a result of a misunderstanding of the government’s official position on the matter.… Read more »

Guyana to hold referendum on decriminalizing homosexuality

The South American country has been under pressure for years to change its anti-sodomy laws The people of Guyana will head to the polls to decide if homosexuality should remain illegal in their country. Located in South America’s north Atlantic corner, Guyana is home to about 770,00 people. It is the only country in South… Read more »

Guyana plans referendum on its anti-gay law

Guyana, the only country in South American with anti-LGBT laws, plans to put the issue of decriminalizing homosexuality to the voters. In general, LGBT rights activists discourage such moves, because human rights should be guaranteed by law, not dependent on a referendum of often ill-informed and homophobic voters. Guyana has an unenforced law that calls… Read more »

Guyana’s transgender activists fight archaic law

As a transgender woman living in Guyana, Petronella Trotman has grown accustomed to violence and daily abuse on the streets. But when she was physically attacked in January, while walking in Georgetown, the South American country’s capital, she decided to seek justice. “The young man came up to me and asked if it was me… Read more »

Buenos Aires dedicates Subway station to LGBTI rights activist

Is this the world’s gayest Subway station? Buenos Aires has dedicated its newest Subway station to an Argentinian gay icon. On Monday (20 March) the new station, now called Santa Fe – Carlos Jaúregui, opened on the city metro system’s H-Line. It’s considered to be the world’s first station to be named in the honor… Read more »

Transgender assault victim barred from entering court as Magistrate dismisses case

City Magistrate Dylon Bess, this morning, dismissed a physical assault case where transgender woman, Ronnel Trotman known as Petronella, was the victim. Bess, before handing down his decision, asked the public to leave the courtroom. Just as the assault victim, Petronella, was entering the court, she was barred by the court’s officers. The decision was… Read more »

Growing up gay in the Caribbean, I was in constant survival mode

On an island where everything from pop music to the church demonises your sexuality, you police your every move It is a strange thing growing up in an island called “Little England”. You inherit the legal system, the educational system and even the old English mannerisms and words. But you also inherit something far more… Read more »

The UN is set to assess violence and discrimination against LGBT people in Argentina

A UN expert is set to assess discrimination against LGBT people in Argentina. Vitit Muntarbhorn, the human rights expert who specialises in investigating violence and discrimination based on sexual and gender identity for the UN, will carry out the study which will see him visit the country. Muntarbhorn has said that he will look in-depth… Read more »

Watch: Gay cruise the Galapagos Islands with Nomadic Boys

Cute couple Stef and Seb invite you to paradise The Galapagos Islands are an archipelago of volcanic islands in the Pacific Ocean. They’re found about 1,000km (600 miles) from Ecuador’s coast. This is the place that captivated Charles Darwin, when he first set foot here in 1835 and inspired his theory of evolution. We’ve always… Read more »

Ecuador transgender people vote for first time according to chosen gender

Ecuadorean transgender people on Sunday voted for the first time according to their chosen gender, in what activists say are signs of progress in the socially conservative and Catholic Andean nation. In Ecuador, men and women wait in separate lines to cast their ballots, which for years created uncomfortable moments for transgender voters who had… Read more »

Big Crowd Turns out for Colorful Gay Pride Parade in Rio

Tens of thousands of people have celebrated at Rio de Janeiro’s annual gay pride parade at Copacabana beach. Under a blazing sun, revelers wearing feathery costumes and wigs held up rainbow flags and danced along the promenade Sunday as music blasted from a half dozen sound trucks. Organizers said this year’s parade was focusing on… Read more »

Brazilian squatters offer shelter from anti-gay violence

A multi-colored gay pride flag hangs in a corner of a bare room in an abandoned Sao Paulo art deco building that was once the headquarters of Brazil’s social security agency. The room is home to several members of Brazil’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community seeking refuge from discrimination and hate crimes against LGBT… Read more »

The UN’s LGBT expert has advocated for a global partnership to end violence

He advocated for unity in his keynote speech at the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) in Bangkok. Vitit Muntarbhorn said: “resolute action is required to stop the violence and discrimination affecting not only LGBT communities but also the human rights defenders working with them… “this goes hand in hand with the… Read more »

Colombian Opposition to Peace Deal Feeds Off Gay Rights Backlash

For the president’s many opponents, it was never just about derailing the peace deal. As Colombia debated how to end 52 years of war with the nation’s largest rebel group, there was the soccer player from the beloved national team who condemned the agreement, singled out President Juan Manuel Santos and accused him of practices… Read more »

Chile’s Michelle Bachelet Promises Gay Marriage Bill In 2017

Chile’s President Michelle Bachelet promised on Wednesday that her government would introduce a bill giving gay and lesbian couples access to marriage in the first half of 2017. “My government has committed to submit to Congress a bill on marriage equality during the first half of 2017,” Bachelet said during a United Nations General Assembly… Read more »

NGOs: attacks on LGBTI people persist

Local activists concerned by continuing violence against minorities, echoing IACHR report Despite Argentina standing at the forefront of progressive legislation protecting LGBTI rights and its reputation as something of a “gay Mecca” for tourists in Latin America, there are worrying signs that the country may be taking backward steps in terms of violence, discrimination and… Read more »

Bolivia’s transgender citizens celebrate new ID cards

Feted by activists carrying a rainbow flag, transgender citizens in La Paz are celebrating their newfound right to register for identity cards with updated details under Bolivia’s new gender law. Transgender activist Pamela Geraldine Valenzuela was the first to do so last week during a ceremony presided over by the mayor of La Paz, Luis… Read more »

More Openly Gay Olympians Than Ever, but No Chinese Among Them

Beijing — Peng Yanhui is celebrating the fact that a record number of openly gay athletes are taking part in the Olympics, while ruing that none are from China. Fifty-two competitors and coaches who are openly lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex are participating in the Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, according to figures… Read more »

Brazil Is Confronting an Epidemic of Anti-Gay Violence

Rio De Janeiro — The assailant struck as Gabriel Figueira Lima, 21, stood on a street two weeks ago in a city in the Amazon, plunging a knife into his neck and speeding off on the back of a motorcycle, leaving him to die. A few days earlier, in the coastal state of Bahia, two… Read more »

Discrimination Of LGBT Abound In Guyana

The reported suicide of a Guyanese Trans gender in Suriname has brought to the fore the burning issue of stigma/discrimination and its adverse ripple effects on the Local LGBT community. Mondale Smith spoke with head of an NGO that advocates for minority groups. Source – YouTube

Peruvians March For Marriage Equality

Thousands of people marched through the streets of Lima – the capital and largest city of Peru – for LGBT rights on Saturday. Marchers carrying rainbow flags and posters called for marriage equality. Organizers said that they wanted to send a message to Peru’s next president. “We want to push for full rights on recognition,… Read more »