Transgender people in Bolivia are now able to officially change their name, sex and gender on legal documents, the Justice Minister announced on Thursday in what is being billed as a historic victory for the country’s trans community.
The Law of Gender Identity, which affects transgender people above the age of 18, will affect more than 1,500 self-identified trans people in Bolivia, according to the country’s Trans, Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals (TLGBT) collective.
News of the law comes three years after Raysa Torriani, the national coordinator of the Bolivian trans movement, proposed the bill to the Bolivian legislative assembly.
Discrimination based on sexual and/or gender identity has been prohibited in the Bolivian constitution since 2009. However, many people from the country’s LGBTQ community say the ruling is rarely enforced and that discrimination and violence against the community is rampant.
A 2014 report found that over the past decade there have been at least 55 targeted killings of LGBT people in Bolivia, 11 of whom belonged to the transgender community.
The report also found that 80 percent of those surveyed had been verbally, physically or psychologically abused by the police.
In October, the government of Evo Morales revealed it would back a new video campaign to increase respect for elderly LGBT people, who are considered to be among Bolivian society’s most discriminated groups.
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