Reuters reports n BBC:
Bolivia’s transgender citizens celebrate new documents
Bolivian transgender activists celebrated on Tuesday as they became the first to be issued with new IDs.
Under a new law passed in May, transgender citizens can request having their name, gender and photo changed on official documents in order to reflect the gender they identify with.
It was strongly opposed by the Catholic and the Evangelic Church in Bolivia.
Similar laws are already in force in Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador and Uruguay.
Under Bolivia’s Gender Identity Law, Bolivians who wish to change their gender on state-issued documents will have to be 18 years of age or older and have an interview with a psychologist before new identity documents are issued.
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Despite the restriction, LGBTI activists welcomed the move as “a step forward”.
Geraldine Valenzuela told Reuters news agency that she had suffered from discrimination and psychological, verbal and physical violence for decades.
“I believe that everything that has happened has borne fruit,” she added.
LGBTI groups said they expect about 1,500 people would take advantage of the new law to have their documents changed.
Back when the law was passed, Vice-President Alvaro Garcia Linera said it would put an end to “social hypocrisy” in Bolivia, where members of the LGBTI community often face disparaging comments or abuse.
President Evo Morales has come under fire on several occasions for disparaging remarks he has made.
In November, he apologised after making a jibe implying his health minister may be lesbian.
And in 2010, he caused outrage when he said eating chicken rich in oestrogen caused men to “deviate from themselves as men”.
Activists said the law, which was introduced in parliament by Mr Morales’ administration, signalled a welcome change.
Polls suggest there has been a shift in attitudes towards LGBTI people in Latin America in recent years.
In the past six years, same-sex marriage has become legal in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Uruguay, as well as some states in Mexico.