Lesbian, Indigenous, and Running for Office!

In Mexico, exciting things have been happening over the past few years with regards to LGBTQ rights. More Mexican states are gradually legalizing marriage equality and openly LGBTQ politicians are beginning to enter the public arena. MORENA, or the Movimiento Regeneración Nacional (National Regeneration Movement), a left-wing political party led by current presidential frontrunner Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, currently has a candidate for the Chamber of Deputies, which is Mexico’s lower house of the Congress. Her name is Reyna Celeste Ascencio Ortega: she is indigenous and she is openly lesbian.

Only 25 years old, Celeste is running in the state she was born, Michoacán. She credits her parents for inspiring her interest in politics, recalling a time her mother was asked why she was a part of MORENA, and the response stuck with the young Celeste. Her mother replied that she did it for her children, as she wanted a better future for them.

Prior to the current nomination, Celeste was Secretary of Sexual Diversity in Michoacán for MORENA. We asked ex-Congresswoman and human rights activist Lol Kin Castañeda (who has worked with Victory Institute in the past) what she thought of Celeste’s candidacy and she stated: “I consider it important that there are openly LGBT people participating in politics, and although there have been some advances in Mexico, we are far from having equal rights.”

The general election in Mexico will take place on July 1st, 2018.