An LGBT+ activist has become the first person in Mexico to be issued a birth certificate recognising their gender as non-binary.
Fausto Martinez received the historic birth certificate from the Civil Registry of Guanajuato, a central Mexican state, on 11 February, following a lengthy legal battle with the National Electoral Institute (INE).
In September 2021, the 26-year-old law student petitioned to put “NB” on their official documents, a request which was initially denied by the INE. This prompted Martínez to partner up with Juan Pablo Delgado, executive director of Amicus – an LGBT+ advocacy group – to fight the decision.
On 11 February, Martinez finally won their lawsuit through Mexico’s constitutional appeals process when the judge presiding over the case ruled in their favour.
On Twitter, Martínez celebrated the landmark moment with the following:
“I have always said what is not named does not exist. For this reason, the transcendence of this fact, the Mexican state recognises that non-binary people exist and with that we are subject to rights and obligations,” they tweeted.
In an interview to press, they added:
“It is a collective achievement of non-binary people in Mexico, that our existence is legally recognized with all that that implies, making us a legal entity with rights and obligations,” Martínez told Mexican news agency EFE.
In a statement on social media, Amicus, the advocacy group Martínez partnered with, celebrated the win but were quick to stress that the judgment was an exception, only applicable to Martínez, and not the rule.
Continuing their interview with EFE, Martinez also highlighted the need for across the board change: “This is a result that occurred in Guanajuato, but what we want is for it to be a simpler procedure than making an amparo trial and everything that entails spending time and money, and we anticipate that it will be so, that more people will be interested in the issue,” they explained.
Mexico can, however, still be a dangerous place for LGBTQ+ people.
In recent years, the country has made some progress incorporating protection for transgender people into law. More than half of Mexico’s 32 states have passed legislation to allow trans people to change their gender on official documents, such as passports and driver licences, and in 2019, Mexico’s Supreme Court also ruled that transgender people must be issued new birth certificates after undergoing gender-affirming procedures.
However, in 2021, figures released by TvTW indicated that Mexico was still the second deadliest country for transgender people, following Brazil.