I am convinced all people should have the opportunity to be who they feel they are; not who society says they should be. Earning my legal identification as a non-binary and transgender person is proof that after being consumed with insecurities, pride is possible.
My neighbors heard me screaming and called the police. They found me in a pool of blood with a severed hand on the floor. My other hand was almost detached and could not be saved.
All of these achievements have come because of, not in spite of, my rural upbringing. Those tough lessons allow me to be of service—not just to women and children, but to an entire nation.
When my name was announced, my heart swelled with happiness and pride. I was making history without meaning to.
The protest had an increased urgency, as that very issue is due to be settled in Colombian Constitutional Court in the coming months.
My husband, 10 years my senior, shouted at me for no reason. He would often beat me with his belt and throw me out of the house. Other times, he would grab me by the hair, throw me on the floor, get on top of me and choke me.
Out on the street, I saw that someone had spray painted “Gay Journalist” in big letters across my car. I felt myself sink down into what would become months of depression.
Returning to my brother, I did not hesitate. I remember not understanding what I was doing, but I felt the rumbling of the gun shot pass through me. It was as if someone else pulled the trigger.
This change gives non-binary people visibility, validates us, and shows society that we are not living in confusion. It is an identity all its own. We resist, we exist, and we are people who have family, work, and everyday life.
I ask, “Why am I alive,” when I cannot study, work, or even move about. For 20 years, I have dreamed. Every single second—every moment of my life—I was proud to be a woman in Afghanistan. Now, we are left with nothing but a grim life and dread of the future.