Spain election: Trans youths' families fear for rights under a right-wing government

by Reuters
Wednesday, 19 July 2023 08:38 GMT

Members of Chrysallis (Association of Transgender Children and Youth Families) take part in a Gay Parade in Barcelona, Spain, July 15, 2023. REUTERS/ Albert Gea

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Trans youths' families fear Spain's conservative People's Party (PP) and far-right Vox take power in this month's election, as they could roll back hard-won LGBT rights

BARCELONA, July 18 (Reuters) - Ana Valenzuela and her 12-year-old trans daughter, like some other families with transgender children, fear that if Spain's conservative People's Party (PP) and far-right Vox take power in this month's election, they could roll back hard-won LGBT rights.

Spain's leftist government passed pioneering legislation in February allowing transgender people aged 14 and over to change their legal gender without the need for psychological or other medical evaluation and judicial approval.

Children aged 12 to 14 can change their gender with parental consent and judicial approval.

Valenzuela said her daughter had asked to change her gender on the national ID card as soon as possible, fearing a PP-Vox government would do away with her right to self-identify.

"It's very sad that children are conscious of this," said Valenzuela, who advised the government during the drafting of the "Trans Law".

Vox has vowed to repeal the Trans Law and has joined the PP in challenging it before the Constitutional Court, arguing it violates child protection rights and the right to bodily integrity.

It has also called for excluding hormone replacement therapies from the public healthcare system so that only paying customers of private providers have access to gender transition procedures, as well as banning trans women from women's sports and bathrooms.

Polls point to the PP winning the most votes in Sunday's election, but landing shy of an outright majority and likely needing Vox to be able to form a government.

Olga Nadal, vice-president of trans youth rights group Chrysallis Catalunya, said the community could not afford to see the law repealed.

"There is a threat. But we will stand up to them," she said during an LGBT Pride march in downtown Barcelona.

Chrysallis comprises about 2,000 families throughout Spain. Valenzuela is president of the Catalan branch.

At a PP rally on Friday, former Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said "nobody cares about the animal welfare law or about the transsexuals" and parties should instead talk about "issues that really affect people".

"I care," said 54-year-old Emi Blanco, who attended the Barcelona parade with her daughter.

"My daughter is (transgender). If (Rajoy) had a transgender individual at home, would he also care?... Everyone has a right to live...That shouldn't depend on a party."

Reporting by Horaci García; Writing by David Latona; Editing by Alexandra Hudson

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