Diane Rodriguez, a transwoman from Ecuador was elected to the National Assembly of Ecuador Sunday. A psychology graduate from Universidad Santiago de Guayaquil, she has been linked with the Alianza PAIS Party since 2011, a leftist ruling party. A trans and human rights activist, Diane became the first openly LGBTI candidate to run for elected office in Ecuador. Diane has been a long time defender of diverse families.
Diane ran on the progressive platform of combatting discrimination at workplace for transgender people, countering bullying against transgender students and eventually work towards legalizing adopting for same sex couples. Earlier this year in February, Ecuadorean transgender people voted for the first time according to their chosen gender, in what activists say are signs of progress in the socially conservative and Catholic Andean nation.
In February 2015, Diane attended LGBT Political Leadership Training organized by Caribe Affirmativo and Victory Institute. She has been in public life and politics for over 15 years, and has actively campaigned for the right to change names and gender on ID cards. An estimated 200 people in the country of 16 million have changed their gender on their ID cards since the law changed.
Rodriguez participated in Victory’s 3rd Meeting of LGBTI Political Leadership in Latin America and the Caribbean where she spoke about ‘Trans Leaders in Politics: Lessons Leaders and Reachable Goals’, with other elected officials such as Tamara Adrian from Venezuela, where she highlighted the successes of trans leaders in politics and paved the path forward.