A few days ago a group named “no tengo miedo” (I’m not afraid) drew up a valuable report on the terrible reality lived by homosexual, transsexual, bisexual and intersex people in Peru. This report was presented to the Minister of Women’s Affair, Mrs. Carmen Omonte.
This document represented a historic moment, since it is the first time that Government officials meet with representatives of the LGBT community to discuss and develop a plan of action on rights for the LGBT community.
Mrs. Omonte, who once was doubtful regarding the campaign of Civil Union for same-sex couple, decided to engage in the defense of the rights of the LGBT population. The Minister admitted that it will not be an easy battle, but she will do her best.
“(…) there are internal and external claims to start changing this situation. There is a commitment from our institution to address the issue. We will work on this because it is an issue of dignity and justice”, said Mrs. Carmen Omonte.
Mr. Gabriel de la Cruz, General Coordinator of “No tengo miedo”, said the following: “This is definitely a historic moment. Today was the day in which authorities finally talked to us and pledged to ensure our rights, not only from the Ministry who heads, but at a local level. Although there are still few officials willing to meet this challenge. Ttoday we hope that things begin to change, and perhaps we are closer than ever to achieve full recognition of our citizenship.”
Similarly, the report revealed that many times the family or the partner’s family of a lesbian, gay, bisexual or transsexual individual is the main source of attacks (in a 35.4% of the time). In addition, 70% of cases of violence committed by a family member or by a member of the couple of the victim, are perpetrated towards people who identify themselves as women, and 31% of cases of violence carried out by third parties are against lesbians.
In cases of family violence, the most violated right is the right to sexuality. Either by denial, repression and pathologization of their sexual orientation.
Yudith is a 22-year old who identifies herself as lesbian, and that tells us the following: “my mother hit me hard with a thick cable. She hit me on my back. When I tried to stand up, to at least avoid the hit, she lunged on top of me with an enormous pair of scissors, towards my chest, yelling: “I’d rather see you dead than seeing you sick”. At that time my younger brother showed up and stopped her. Then, my mother sent me to my room, and next day she woke me up by pouring ice water on my face, and told me to go to the University.”
This testimony is just one among hundreds of stories of domestic violence suffered every day by people with a sexual orientation different from the common one “accepted” by our society.
Let’s hope that this new step of Peruvian Government will help preserve the integrity of all persons.