It is with great shock and dismay that ILGA has learnt of the passing of our comrade and friend Lohana Berkins, a fierce advocate for the human rights of trans and travesti people in her native Argentina and across the Americas.
Her health conditions had worsened during the last few weeks. She passed away today, a few hours after sending her last message to her travesti sisters
"Dearest Comrades: my health is grave and it doesn't allow me to meet you in person. That's why I want to thank all of you for your love and support and send you these words through our comrade Marlene Wayar to whom I also leave my mission.
Many are our accomplishments over the years. This is the time to resist, to continue fighting. The revolution's time is right now, because we will not be going back to prison.
I am convinced that the drive for change is love. The love that was denied to us is what moves us to change the world.
All the beatings that I took and all the neglect that I suffered, they do not compare to the endless love that surrounds me in these moments. Travesti Rage Always. Hugs."
Lohana has been a pioneer for the fight towards the human rights of trans persons. In 1994 she founded the Asociación de Lucha por la Identidad Travesti y Transexual (ALITT), in 2007 she was elected a member of the ILGALAC regional council.
One year later, she lead the creation of the Cooperativa Textil Echazú Nadia, the first cooperative school for travesti and trans people in the country. It was also thanks to her commitment that the Argentinian Gender Identity Law was approved by the National Congress in 2012. Since 2013, she was the director of the Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation office within the Observatorio de Género en la Justicia in Buenos Aires.
On behalf of its entire membership, the board and secretariat, ILGA would like to express our deepest sympathy and convey our condolences to her family, friends and colleagues, and to everybody who was touched by her fierceness, her sweetness, her exemplary commitment in working for a world where everybody’s human rights are respected.