For years, transgender activist Roshell Terranova protested in the streets and knocked on the doors of Mexico’s Congress to make the demands of the country’s LGBTQ community known. Now thanks to her efforts and an electoral rule change, Terranova is running for Congress in a first for Mexico. Terranova will be one of more than 100 members of Mexico’s LGBTQ community participating in Sunday’s mid-term elections that will fill the 500 seats of the lower chamber of the Congress, as well as state and local posts across the country. It is the largest number of LGBTQ candidates in Mexico’s history, according to Carla Humphrey, an official with the National Electoral Institute. The likelihood of success of the candidates for some of the more than 20,000 posts in play Sunday remains unknown, but activists, analysts, and members of the LGBTQ community say the sheer number of candidates is a victory. It signals a departure from a history of hiding sexual identity to pursue a political career. The surge in LGBTQ participation follows an order from electoral authorities for political parties to include those candidates on their slates as part of their “affirmative action” efforts, which seek “to generate and open spaces to vulnerable groups,” Humphrey said.
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