This weekend, the death of 16-year-old transgender Matías Guevara was announced. Community Atacama Trans alerted about the situation of harassment that lived in Liceo Sagrado Corazón High School of Copiapó.
“There was bullying, that’s 100% real”, says Óscar Millán, coordinator of the Atacama Trans Community, to OTD Chile, who recognizes that there are situations of discrimination in the region as in the whole of Chile. His message to kids who are suffering harassment problems is to seek help. “I would tell them to seek help, it’s not like before, there are more things, there are more organizations that try to prevent and support.” He said.
According to statistics from the Superintendency of Education, 30 complaints of gender identity discrimination have been received during 2017 and 2018, in fact every month of the school calendar, 1.5 complaints of transgender children are made to the Ministry of Education. An alarming number, considering that many cases are not reported or families prefer to be marginalized from the establishment and even from education in order not to have to live more transphobia.
For Franco Fuica, OTD Chile’s coordinator of legislation and public policies, this situation is extremely serious and should lead to the creation of a policy against urgent school harassment. “Let us remember that we are not only talking about transphobia, but that we are dealing with children and adolescents who suffer violence on a daily basis in contexts where they should feel safe and protected. School harassment based on gender identity or expression leads to suicide, as the T-Survey showed, but unfortunately the authorities have not understood the urgency of addressing this issue.”
“We do not want to continue mourning the deaths of children and young people, it is time to get to work, see what they need and how adults can open ways for them to have an education free of harassment and with full recognition of their rights. The case of Matías shows that the educational system in Chile has failed and is putting the lives of trans children and young people at risk. We are open to providing our experience to advance towards policies of good treatment, inclusive and for all.”
If you want to contact Comunidad Atacama Trans write to firstname.lastname@example.org or to their Instagram account.
Translated by: Camila Mella