domingo, 3 de mayo de 2009
After the third time of being threatened with a gun to his head, Julian Carvajal decided that it was time to leave Colombia.
Carvajal has beeen living in Canda as a refugee for the last two years. With his nice latin-american accent and friendly face, he says he can remeber, at the age of 3, hiding in a closet kissing with a boy friend.
Carvajal has known he is gay all his life, and from a young age Carvajal has been involved in social organisation, but
it was not until he went to college that he got involved with PROCREAR, a Colombian organization that helps homeless
transvestites who have problems with mind altering drugs, and sometimes with HIV too. Carvajal is not a transvestite but he said that he got involved in their defence because they are still more vulnerable that regular gay people.
During his work with PROCREA he met a transvestite that turned out to be his boss,
and became a close friend. Carvajal said, “Samantha Palacios is a dark-skinned,
extremely tall woman with enormous breasts.” Palacios and Carvajal worked together to create a more tolerant sociaty, working closely with goverment agencies to change the mentality of the Police, and make them aware of human rights. “We needed to make people understand that these people were also Colombian.” Carvajal explains that is very diﬁcult for a transvestite to get a job, and many of them end up in prostitution, saying “Transvestites believe that is way more honest to make their way in life by standing by a sign to sell their bodies than work for the goverment,
stealing citizens’ money.” After a while, Carvajal got more involved and also helped linked organizations that work with men who want to have a sex change operation. The surgery requires a lot of psychological treatment from before and after. Suddenly people started reacting Rainbow diversity a diversité aux couleurs de l’arc-en-ciel
La diversidad de los colores del arco iris well towrds his work. He organaized speeches at the university so transexuals and transvestites could talk about their experiences. His goal to promote tolerance was succeeding.
The organization was becoming stronger, but the challenges it faced were also
growing. An organization named ‘Social Cleaning’arrest him and Palacios, and the situation became really bad. Carvajal had to change address three times before leaving
Colombia, him Palacios having to run away to Argentina to be safe.Nic Henderson, the
Scottish director of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) network in the UK
said “People are being murder every day because the United Nations hasn’t been brave enough to defend the rights of all humans.” Henderson also said that there are about 27 countries, such as Egypt, Iran and Siera Leone, where it is illegal to be homosexual, and where people are killed because of their sexual preferences. Jose Luna works at Incide Joven in Guatemala . He said “Talk about sexual diversity is to talk about human rights. It’s not about morality. Goverments have the responsability to protect all their citizens, but even when some countries have legislation that supports homosexuals there is still a lot of prejudice against gays.” Julian Carvajal wants to go back some day to his country, and his dream of building a tolerant society and giving space and respect to all human-beings is still part of his future plans.