Mexican President apologises for calling trans lawmaker a ‘man dressed as a woman’

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has issued an apology after misgendering a trans federal lawmaker and referring to them as a “man dressed as a woman.”

When he made the comment, the political leader had been referring to Salma Luevano, one of the state’s first transgender legislators.

Obrador met with Luevano, a representative of his own political party, at a public event over the weekend. 

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has apologised for misgendering a trans lawmaker in his party. (Getty Images)

The next day, the president responded to journalist Joaquín López-Dóriga, who questioned why he had greeted Luevano with a kiss on the cheek, Reuters reports. In response, Obrador offered the explanation that Luevano was a “man dressed as a woman.”

After facing backlash on social media for his comment, Obrador issued a public apology during a press conference on Tuesday (9 January), telling reporters: “I want to start… by offering an apology to a colleague who identifies as a woman and that yesterday I spoke about being a man dressed as a woman. I am very respectful and I believe in freedom, and people should assume anyone as is identified.”

In response, Luevano took to social media to acknowledge the president’s apology.

She wrote: “Today the president @lopezobrador_ offered me an apology for making a bad generalization. This declaration is very important because it makes visible a fight that has taken us decades

“I am a trans woman and that is not up for discussion.”

Hoy el presidente @lopezobrador_ me ofreció una disculpa por malgeneralizarme. Esta declaración es importantísima, pues visibiliza una lucha que nos ha tomado décadas
Soy una mujer, Diputrans y eso no está a discusión.
Ahora a esperar a que me reciba el presidente @JesusRCuevas

— Salma Luévano Luna (@SalmaLuevano) January 9, 2024

In a separate tweet, Luevano criticised López-Dóriga for over-analysing the president’s interaction with her in the first place.

“The president @lopezobrador_ knows that I am a TRANS woman and there is also great mutual respect,” she tweeted.

“From what I see in your case @lopezdoriga your STUPID IGNORANCE and filthy brain make you believe that everyone is of your condition. PHOBIAS reflect fear and insecurity, DON’T FORGET.”

El presidente @lopezobrador_ sabe que soy una mujer TRANS y además hay un gran respeto mutuo
Por lo que veo en tu caso @lopezdoriga tu ESTÚPIDA IGNORANCIA y cochino cerebro te hace creer que todos son de tu condición.
LAS FOBIAS, reflejan miedo e inseguridad NO SE TE OLVIDE

— Salma Luévano Luna (@SalmaLuevano) January 8, 2024

During Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s time in office, which began in 2018, Mexico introduced its first passports with non-binary gender markers, marking what they called a “great leap” for freedom of expression.

Introducing the passports in May 2023, foreign minister Marcelo Brared assured citizens: “We endorse our support for sexual diversity. 

“All rights must be guaranteed for all identities. No more hate speech – diversity enriches and flourishes.”

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