Though the year has just begun, the Global team is already on the road! Our first stop – Mexico City, for Global’s LGBTIQ+ Leadership Training Program, Module 1: Advocacy and Structure of the State. Our four-module approach – with three additional modules taking place every month leading up to elections on June 2 – will provide LGBTQI+ leaders with high-level programming, aimed at ensuring LGBTIQ+ leaders have the skills to win political positions, occupy and diversify the decision-making tables, as well as become effective civic and political leaders.
“La Única Bandera Que Nos Arropa Realmente Es Aquella Del Arcoíris”
This was shared by a participant during one of the many circle discussions held over two days of the first module, setting the tone of the training. Speaking to their individual and diverse experiences within Mexico’s various political parties, our participants reinforced for themselves and each other that support and network-building amongst each other as LGBTIQ+ political actors is greater than any one party affiliation. Participants went on to exchange and learn from each other on the history of the LGBTQI+ political participation in Mexico, both past and present, individual and collective, with a focus on the immediate future of the elections and longer-term strategies of the movement for the country.
Over the Course of the Training…
While our mission and partnership with Yaaj extends well beyond the current year, this election cycle has particular importance in the fight for LGBTIQ+ equality. On June 2nd, Mexico will hold their general elections, giving us the opportunity to shatter glass ceilings for representation, increase LGBTIQ+ presence at all levels of government and across Mexico’s political party spectrum.
In a first for our local partner and for the country, Yaaj México and LGBTQ+ Victory Institute opened calls for applications during a 2-week period to recruit participants and trainers for our political training program. In this time, we received an unprecedented 212 applications for trainees and 131 applications for trainers, Throughout a dynamic and arduous evaluation process of an incredible applicant pool, we recruited 31* of Mexico’s best LGBTIQ+ political leaders, with more than 60% of participants hailing from the interior and 40% from Mexico City.
With a focus on Advocacy and Structure of the State, our trainees delved into the following content areas:
- Essential components for an effective democracy
- National panorama and overview of State institutions
- Political panorama – Overview of political parties and public policies
- Strategies, tools and tactics for political advocacy
- The importance of governmental representation (local, federal)
- LGBTIQ+ individuals as agents of change, civil society, and spaces for participation.
- 31 participants from across Mexico*;
- 70% were cis women or non-binary people;
- 30% were transgender people;
- Representation from every national political party in Mexico, as well as one local party.
Speakers included: LGBTIQ+ Victory Institute Senior Director of Global Programs Alhelí Partida & Global Programs Manager Adrián Velázquez, Yaaj México Director General Iván Tagle & Project Coordinator Alejandra Paredes, and Module 1 trainer, Roberto Alviso Marqués.
Remembering Those Lost and Honoring the Movement’s Resilience and Pain
While our training in Mexico comes in a moment of great opportunity and excitement for LGBTIQ+ political representation, it is marked by much greater loss, collective anger and pain for the lives taken in the past months. On November 13, 2023, Magistrate Jesús Ociel Baena, the first non-binary person to assume a judicial post in Mexico and in Latin America, was found murdered in their home along with their partner. Baena was originally selected as a trainer for our training program.
Additionally, 2024 has been marked by a violent start with multiple killings of trans people in Mexico, including the murder of Dr. Samantha Gómes*, a trans activist and pre-candidate to Mexico’s Senate who was also selected to join the program as a participant. Our first module began with a sober honoring of their legacies, as well as honoring the pain and resilience of the movement in Mexico. Our training in Mexico will reserve two seats for Magistrate Baena and Dr. Gómes, as they should have been here with us and our participants.
Next: Returning to Mexico City
Our Global team will continue to accompany these in-person modules and sharing on our participants’ experiences every month leading up to the Mexican general elections on June 2, 2024. The next module will take place February 22-24 in Mexico City.