BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (ChurchMilitant.com) - Archbishop Jorge Eduardo Lozano of the western Argentine diocese of San Juan de Cuyo is lending a sympathetic ear to transgender activists. During what is being described as a "historic" July 1 meeting with Lozano, activists told the prelate that life is difficult for transgender people, especially those who are prostitutes.
Veronica Araya, a local leader of the Association of Transvestites, Transsexuals and Transgenders of Argentina (ATTTA), complained, about "discrimination against girls [sic] who have to stand on a corner," saying, "No one ever asked why they often must do so. It is true that many of the girls choose to do it, but the vast majority do not; we do it because we have no other choice." Reportedly, out of 180 "transgenders" in a province of more than 680,000 people, about 40 are prostitutes.
Araya said that the situation of transgender people is bleaker than the situation of those who identify as homosexual: "They often hang on to our struggle, but the reality is that the situation is very different. If you must fill a job with a gay, a lesbian or a trans girl, you are going to hire a gay or lesbian. You are never going to choose a trans."
Araya said that ATTTA informed the archbishop of harassment and insults they have suffered because of their lifestyle, while lamenting that they do not have the resources for sex-change surgery and hormone treatments.
Araya recalled that he left home at the age of 12, ostensibly because his parents insisted on calling him by the masculine name he had been given at birth. He found acceptance among other transgenders, some of whom engaged in prostitution: "With them, I could feel like 'Veronica.'"
While conceding that dressing as a woman and going to work as a prostitute is not the best sort of childhood, Araya maintained that "it is the only solution they [runaway transgender children] have so that they can eat." He added, "We live and die alone. That is the reality we related to Lozano."
Archbishop Lozano has reportedly said that he looks forward to future meetings with the trans activists. "We have promised to accompany them in some job training and assistance efforts," remarked Lozano, adding that he had put the group into contact with a family farming organization to learn how to become self-sufficient.
In his statement, Lozano used the feminine gender to describe the activists, despite the fact that they are males, saying: "También las alentamos a que pudieran lograr la culminación de los estudios primarios o secundarios" ["We also encourage them to complete their primary or secondary studies"]. Apparently gratified, activist Araya said that, in the 20 years he has lived in San Juan, he has never experienced such a concession.
Arguing that it discriminates against transgender people, Araya is seeking an end to article 184 of the provincial criminal code (which is shared with Mendoza and Salta provinces). The provision prohibits public solicitation for the purpose of prostitution. Prostitution is generally legal throughout Argentina, so long as "public order and morality" are not offended. However, provinces and local jurisdictions can impose restrictions.
Prostitution organized by pimps and brothels, however, is prohibited. In San Juan, local law allows police to jail anyone who makes a public sex proposition. The law also prohibits the "improper use of public spaces," which would include any unauthorized commercial activity. Violators of such regulations face heavy fines and up to 15 days in jail.
Agustín Laje and Nicolás Márquez have warned against the agenda being promoted by transgender, gay, lesbian and other cultural Marxists in their native Argentina. In their book, titled El Libro Negro de la Nueva Izquierda (Spanish for The Black Book of the New Left), they write about how, after the fall of the Soviet Union, leftists embraced new banners and reinvented their narrative. The so-called "new communism" (or "cultural progressivism") of today not only came to dominate the West's political agenda, but also, to a great extent, its very assumptions.
The socialist calling cards of class struggle, dialectical materialism, proletarian revolution and guerrilla violence have been replaced by "native ecology," selective human rights, and above all, "gender ideology," which is a kind of porno-Marxism (sexual socialism) — one that propels radical feminism, homosexualism, pedophilia (which is connected to homosexuality), abortion and all sorts of self-destructive behaviors in rebellion against the "hetero-capitalist" Western tradition.
The book charges that the new Left takes shelter behind slogans such as "egalitarian," "diversity" and "minority rights" in order to hide its transgender priorities and in order to channel its disdain for Western civil society through special-interest groups that it has seized and indoctrinated to the end of dominating academia, controlling literature, monopolizing the arts, modifying habits and influencing the media.
The new Left breaks with the old in that it no longer seeks to kidnap businessmen; rather, it seeks to dominate common sense. It doesn't seek to take over factories; rather, it seeks to control professors. It doesn't try to confiscate bank accounts; rather it tries to control our way of thinking. Its activists say, "Everything else will come as an after-thought."
El Libro Negro was first published in 2016 and is now in its 12th printing.
When asked about the challenges posed by the transgender movement, he said it will cause "a gradual loss of basic liberties following the dictates of a political and ideological movement that, paradoxically, disguises itself under the idea of 'liberation' and 'progress.'"
According to Laje, gender ideology undermines liberty through mechanisms such as (among other things) quotas for sexual minorities. The freedoms to express ideas and to make a living, he said, are threatened by laws that penalize Christians for defending scriptural teachings about homosexuality and marriage.
Moreover, parental authority is threatened by laws allowing abortion for minors and promoting transgender ideology in schools.
Archbishop Lozano was ordained to the priesthood in 1982. He was made a bishop by Cdl. Jorge Bergoglio (who would go on to become Pope Francis) in 2000. Pope Benedict XVI made him bishop of Gualeguaychú in 2005. It was in 2016 that Pope Francis named him to San Juan.