Argentina is making LGBTQ history once more. The South American country is home to the first-ever transgender police chief in Latin America.
“This is a milestone,” Analía Pasantino told The Associated Press last week. “It’s an unprecedented and important step to show Latin America and the world that we are an open institution.”
While Pasantino had been on the force for 20 years, her transition made it difficult for her to climb up in the field.
In 2008, the now 49-year-old had to take a leave of absence after coming out as trans. In the years that followed, Pasantino underwent multiple psychiatric evaluations to prove that she was fit to rejoin the force. However, a committee labeled her unsuitable, which continued to extend her leave.
“[Being transgender] was always seen as an illness,” she said. “As crude as it sounds, the final diagnosis was: a disturbance in gender identity that made me unrecoverable to the police force.”
But Pasantino didn't give up, and it was her persistence that helped her break barriers. On May 8, she was finally reinstated to the federal police force and appointed deputy police commissioner in the judicial communications department.
“After a long process, which included irregular administrative situations, actions without grounds and notable discrimination, the federal Ministry of Security resolved to reincorporate Pasantino, who meets every requirement and conditions to serve in the force, to the Division of Judicial Communications of the Federal Police,” a press statement by the Ministry of Security, published in Argentine newspaper La Nación, noted.
During her appointment ceremony, Pasantino was joined by her wife of 31 years, Silvia Mauro, who has been by her side before and after her transition.
(h/t Huffington Post)