“Our son is the revolution of love,” wrote Ecuadorian transgender activist Diane Rodriguez as she and the child’s father Fernando lovingly look on.
Cisgender media was quick to proclaim his birth as proof of Ecuadorian newfound acceptance of transgender people. But it’s important to know the truth. His birth is a part of the revolution, yes but this ‘revolution of love’ progresses slowly. This is a revolution in the sense that its a new concept to many that transgender people do fall in love. But it’s not the proverbial ‘tipping point’ like the one that Time so prematurely coined.
Fernando Machado and Diane Rodriguez made history June by becoming the first Ecuadorian transgender couple to give birth. The couple met on Facebook in 2015 and shortly afterward Fernando posted that he was pregnant.
Fernando – who was born in Venezuela – tells of their whirlwind romance as their baby sleeps on. “I was on a bus to Ecuador days after we started chatting online,” Fernando smiles. “After three weeks living together, I was pregnant,” he said.
This was hard for many in the conservative country to get their heads around, a dad giving birth?
Ecuador is a polarised society to bring a child into as a transgender parent. While there is great social change going on, there is also great opposition to that change – and it can be violently expressed.
Diane herself has been abducted several times. The scruffy downtown offices of her organisation, Silueta X, are monitored by CCTV for safety.
Yet activists like Diane are happy to have a high profile because they feel it helps educate the public. During Fernando’s pregnancy, the couple published a startling video clip on Facebook – of a doctor, telling Fernando not to forget he is a woman. The video was shared widely and the hospital apologised.
At the time of conception, Ecuadorian laws required sterilization of transgender people before their authentic gender could be legally recognized. That changed in Feb. 2016 with a new law enabling pre/non-op transgender people to change their gender on legal documents.
Ms. Rodriguez wrote “After 9 months of pregnancy, we decided to make public the birth of our son. This represents a fact iconic for the rights of the various families (Lgbti) in Ecuador. We have received with all the love and affection of the world to nuestrx hijx, whose record of his name, we’ll do it in the following months. Many thanks to all for your good wishes, we haven’t seen negative messages with the photo of the operating room of Fernando and mine; that means q we are fulfilling our purpose, and it’s conquering and raising those who do not understand our relationship LGBT. We are changing our context. Our son is the revolution of love.
Eight hours ago Diane Rodriguez shared this video of policemen attacking transgender sex workers in her home country. Ms. Rodriguez is hoping it will go viral. Sharing would be revolutionary.