Every day, people who do not conform to gender norms suffer from transphobia and violence. In this gallery of images taken by Carlos Rodríquez on the Transgender Day of Remembrance in the Dominican Republic in 2017, these lives are honored and memorialized.
Among those recognized: Rubí, a 32-year-old trans woman found dismembered in the province of La Romana, as well as Carolina Paola who died after receiving multiple mortal injuries on her body and head with a bat in the town of Villa Mella, as well as Wander Pérez, murdered in November of 2017 in the Baitoa municipality of Santiago. Like them, hundreds of trans people are killed and their deaths are invisible.
Transgender Day of Remembrance honors them and reminds us to seek justice for those lost lives.
Several organizations are working in favor of this community, as well as toward the free expression of gender and identity: Individuals United for Respect and Harmony, a nonprofit NGO, facilitated at the Cultural Center of Spain; the workshop Safe Zone I: LGBTI 101, which offers tools on how to be a better ally to the LGBTI community through the use of inclusive language.
Photographer and filmmaker Carlos Rodríguez, founding member of IURA, presented Trans'It, a documentary that he produced and directed, which follows the life of three transgender people in Santo Domingo and how they navigate their lives in a state that does not recognize them.
Trans Siempre Amigas-TRANSSA, an organization that works in the field of health and human rights, with the Observatory of Human Rights of Transgender People-ODHPT along with other partner organizations, hold workshops on violence against gender linked to the trans population, in which strategies are shared on the use the legal mechanisms to denounce these type of aggressions.
Community of Transvestites and Dominican Sex Workers (COTRAVETD) organized an emotional memorial in the Duarte Park of the Colonial Zone in which a manifesto was read where the need for the anti-discrimination law to be passed was promoted.
At the time of this memorial last year in November, there are more than 43 cases of transgender people murdered, according to TRANSSA data and the Observatory of Human Rights for Transgender People, from 2006 to 2017. Only four of these cases have been sentenced.
Longtime Advocate contributor Carlos Rodríguez can be found on his website, Facebook, and Instagram.
About the author
Carlos Rodriguez is a Dominican visual artist with experience in art, commercial and documentary photography and film. His lenses have captured a plethora of fashion weeks, bateyes from the Dominican Republic, editorial and portrait photography sessions; theater, film shoots, advertising campaigns, spiritual celebrations, and social demonstrations. His photographic work has been published in media such as The Advocate, Vogue, Remezcla, AfroPunk, Metro, among others. His photographic and audiovisual projects have been exhibited at various festivals in the Caribbean, Asia, Europe, and the Americas, and as educational material in universities such as Harvard, Yale, Brown and New York University.
Organizations in the Dominican Republic that advocate for Trans rights
In the Dominican Republic, there are several organizations working in favor of this community towards zero discrimination, as well as toward the free expression of gender and identity. The names/acronym of these organizations have been translated from Spanish to English.
IURA, Individuals United for Respect and Harmony www.iura.do