Chile post-2012: A very short and limited exploration

 After Michele Bachelet’s election in 2006, LGBT groups hoped the more liberal president would usher in better conditions for members of the LGBT community. The year  before, an anti-discrimination bill had been introduced in Chile’s Chamber of Deputies.That bill, which passed shortly after the outrage of Daniel Zamudio’s death, did not pass until seven years later. In fact, it was hardly even discussed. [1]

Daniel Zamudio’s death had become a source of international outrage that lead to what many consider a pivotal moment in the achievement  of LGBT rights in Chile. 

Yet, history has shown that the passage of a bill does not always change societies’ view and cannot act to totally prevent discrimination. So, what were the results of this bill? How has Chilean society changed or moved towards change? 

How are things changing:

Since that time, Chile’s first openly gay politician was elected (in 2012): Jaime Parada. This year, the Santiago Times interviewed him on his opinions of the state of LGBTQ issues and other political matters of Chile. Parada’s assessment of the potential progress in the acceptance of the LGBTQ community in Chile was largely hopeful. Unfortunately, however, the prompt for this interview was not the result of progress [interview found here].A short time before the 2014 interview, a young man named Esteban Parada (it is unclear if Jaime and Esteban were related) was murdered in  the Bellavista area. Fortunately, however, his murderers were captured by the homicide unit– though it is unclear if they have been tried yet [2].

Image

Evelyn

At the same time, in 2013 an openly gay author received a literary award for his criticism of Chilean pop culture and his depiction of the complexities Chilean life including issues of gender and social class. [3] A Photographer, Paz Errazuriz depicted an image of a transwoman simply called Evelyn on the cover of her newest book on photography in an effort to display more nuanced narratives of those who claim the identity of woman in Chile [4]

 

 

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