An Afro-Indigenous Transgender woman runs for Parliament in Peru

Gahela Cari, 28, goes straight to the point, she introduces herself as ‘indigenous, transwoman, socialist and feminist’. Adjectives that will make the most conservative Peruvians roll their eyes. 

She leads for the congress for ‘Together for Peru’ political leftist party led by Veronika Mendoza, who is the second favourite to become the next president of Peru according to the latest poll. 

Cari, who wears a colourful Andean hat and a long black braid like most indigenous women from her country run to congress intending to change entrenched injustices that Peru has dragged since it was invaded and colonized by Spain. 

‘In Peru, we have been educated to hide our sexual orientation, gender and to be ashamed of our skin colour,’ says during a zoom interview. (Spanish interview).

Gahela had been bullied for being indigenous, in a country where most of it is population descendant of indigenous people. 

‘I had experienced transphobia. I have been called (traca) transformer and homosexual, just because I am a transgender woman.’ Added Cari. 

She believes all those ‘adjectives’ have prepared to fight for her rights and run for parliament. 

Cari, who studied law at a public university, has not been able to pursue her career. The university where she studied; have not allowed her to obtain her professional degree under her female names. 

Due to she was forced to work as a sex worker. 

‘When you are a trans girl and turned 15, you do not think: “when I am 20, I am going to become a prostitute’. We do not want to be rape for money”. 

About her political campaign, she believes is having a positive effect in most Peruvians. “At first there was a lot of rejection because a lot of people have a negative opinion about trans people. The development of the campaign has greatly helped to bring down prejudices. It has shown that trans people can propose big changes.”

If she won next April, she will have proposed the decriminalisation of abortion, police reform, gender education at all levels of education and the protection of transgender people.

On April 11, 2021, more than 25 million Peruvians will vote for a president and its representatives on the Parliament.

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