Fury over trans people deemed 'mentally ill' in Peru

STORY: ::May 17, 2024

::Protesters slam a new law in Peru

that labels trans identities as a mental disease

::Lima, Peru

::The health ministry says the move lets trans people,

among others, access more health benefits

::Critics say it uses outdated classifications

of gender identity and sexual orientation

Gahela Cari Contreras/Transgender activist

“Many years ago, gender identities stopped being considered pathologies. Yet, this assassin government intends to step over our rights. This is trans-phobic law. LGBT organizations will not let it do so. We will not allow this assassin government to step on our rights. We will not allow this assassin government to violate trans-people’s lives.”

Around 500 demonstrators peacefully walked the streets of downtown Lima, hoisting banners with slogans that read "No more stigmas" and "My identity is not a disease."

The law, which was approved administratively last week by the government of President Dina Boluarte, specifies that those who identify as transgender, along with "cross dressers" and "others with gender identity disorders," are considered to be diagnosed with "illnesses" that are eligible for mental health services via both public and private providers.

Critics of the law have argued that its update of the country's PEAS health regulations was unnecessary, since existing rules already allowed for universal access to mental health services.

In a statement released shortly after the law was promulgated, the health ministry insisted that it rejects the stigmatization of LGBTQ+ people and that the legal language simply seeks to ensure more complete health coverage.