Arlen socialized her identity in 2017 to her family, studying at the Liceo Barros Borgoño in Santiago. After several episodes of discrimination decided to move to another establishment in the commune, choosing the Liceo 1 Javiera Carrera girls, is now waiting for confirmation of enrollment.
She studied for 3 years at Barros Borgoño Boys’ High School, two of which she lived as a trans teenager. “In 2017 the whole community accepted it quite well, but I had friction with high school officials, both teachers and education assistants, where the central theme was that I was a trans and I studied in a men’s high school, and others because of my gender expression,” she told OTD Chile.
In 2018, at the beginning of the school year, she realized that she had not passed the grade, even though she had received a certificate accrediting it. “I showed up on the middle school payrolls, I still can’t explain why they left me doing it again,” she said. ” It was supposedly because of grade problems, but I had passed the grade. I did it again because I had not the best grades and it helped me.
Last year she was part of the establishment’s Student Center, which tightened the relationship with the Liceo’s authorities. ” Each and every situation that happened made me or other students very much burdened, they followed me to the bathroom, when I left the classroom, there was a very evident harassment of all strata, except the student body”.
The Legislation and Public Policy Unit of OTD Chile last January requested a meeting with the Education Department of the Municipality, along with Councillors Irací Hassler and Natalia Contreras, to resolve the situation. The denunciations and background information were presented, compromising an internal investigation, as well as the transfer to another Liceo in the commune, being the Liceo n°1 of girls chosen from Arlen.
“In the meeting they were surprised because the repetition was quite arbitrary since it also happened to other comrades, but they presented their final grade certificate accrediting that they had passed the course and reinserted them, but not to me. In addition, the assistant principal of the Liceo assured that I was not enrolled in the Liceo when I was, something I made in order to request the transfer and in case I couldn’t find a school,” she said.
According to the deadline established within this week should confirm the registration.
“If you don’t feel comfortable in your school environment, look for another one, there are always options. Also, don’t be afraid of who you are, I realized it a couple of years ago, but lately I have met kids who knew before the age of 10 and I think it’s wonderful because it’s a time when a person is built,” he says.
For Franco Fuica, who is in charge of legislation and public policies at OTD Chile, the only thing missing is the administrative issue for Arlen to exercise his right to education. “No child in Chile can be denied education for reasons of gender identity or expression, as stated in the recently enacted Gender Identity Law and Ministry of Education circular 0768. Therefore, we hope to have an answer soon so that she can live these last two years of high school, in one where she feels comfortable and is respected as a trans-female adolescent,” Franco said.
Traslation: Mariana Galvez y Lilly Parra.