After reading every day about more backwards policies being advocated across the U.S., it’s easy to forget that progressive and liberal agendas sometimes succeed, too (just not here, lately). Earlier this month, Argentina passed a thoroughly modern law that changes many of the restrictions transgender individuals previously faced. Now, individuals can apply to change their gender on official government documents (namely IDs) without first undergoing a medical diagnosis. Furthermore, doctors must now provide free hormone therapy or gender reassignment surgery to individuals who want it.

Being recognized by the government is freeing for many people, who otherwise feel embarrassed or frustrated to be known by a name that is untrue to their self-identity. Marcela Romero, president of a transgender activist group in Argentina notes, “I couldn’t use public services because the name on the documents, the name my parents gave me, wasn’t me, and a person who doesn’t have an identity doesn’t have rights.”


The desire for self-determination is expressed beautifully in the 1999 film from Pedro Almodóvar, All About My Mother:


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