Some Fascinating Argentinean LGBT Rights PSAs

by Thomas Roche on November 26, 2011

The above Argentinian PSA got me all verklempt. It shows a series of transgender Argentinians talking  about how it feels to have the name on one’s ID not match one’s identity. It’s in Spanish, with English subtitles added after-the-fact by Blabbeando (the link comes via Charlie Glickman at Good Vibrations). With its perky, music, straightforward speech and from-the-heart feel, it celebrates trans rights beautifully…and it’s on television.

The PSA is part of a campaign to support Argentina’s Transgender Identity Law, currently being considered by the Argentinian Senate. The bill is meant, among other things, to make it easier to change the gender on one’s ID without proof of gender reassignment surgery. The gorgeous PSA was produced by a federation of Argentinian LGBT rights organizations (you can see all their logos at the end).

Argentina has a remarkable LGBT rights record in recent years. Same-sex marriage was legalized there in the summer, 2010, following a 2009 court ruling that allowed two men to marry — the first in Latin America. Gays and lesbians can serve openly in the Argentinian military. Even in prisons, officials are required to allow conjugal visits between LGBT inmates and their partners.

It wasn’t always thus in Argentina, with  raids on gay bars occurring at least into the late ’90s — well after the end of the military dictatorship, which crashed in the early 1980s. Change in Argentina may seem to have come about rapidly, but it’s taken hard work by activists and lawmakers.

That’s why PSAs like the two following are felt necessary by an Argentinian provincial rights advocacy group. They are so Orwellian (particularly the first one, with the cops) that they made me feel physically ill watching them. The truly disturbing thing is that it wasn’t all that long ago in the United States that this kind of harassment was extremely common, and it’s still all too common…as I’m sure it is in Argentina.

According to Blabbeando, those two PSAs above come from an organization called the Observatory for the Promotion of Sexual Diversity Rights in Salta (Salta being a city and province in Northwestern Argentina). They were supported by United Nations grants, and are intended to promote the sexual diversity rights clause in the Salta provincial constitution.

If those last two PSAs creeped you out, this last one may cheer you up a bit. It came out during Argentinan LGBT rights groups’ (successful) 2010 campaign for same-sex marriage. This PSA is from the LGBT Federation of Argentina, and it’s so adorable it makes me squee. Imagine a diamond commercial without the crappy commodity politics — that is to say with shy, trembling expressions of heartfelt love instead of blood diamonds. Then populate it with hot Argentinians.

I think you’d get something like this:

Thomas Roche

Thomas Roche's first novel, The Panama Laugh, is a gonzo military science fiction zombie apocalypse that has been compared to the writings of Jim Thompson and Hunter S. Thompson. He is also a widely published author of sex-positive erotica and the occasional purveyor of horror and crime-noir short stories, and a commentator on sex, crime, culture and politics.

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