December 7, 2015 at 1:00 am EDT | by Michael K. Lavers
Transgender woman elected to Venezuelan National Assembly

Tamara Adrián, Venezuelan National Assembly, gay news, Washington Blade

Tamara Adrián, on Dec. 6, 2015, became the first openly transgender person elected to the Venezuelan National Assembly. (Photo courtesy of Tamara Adrián)

A lawyer on Sunday became the first openly transgender person elected to the Venezuelan National Assembly.

Popular Will, a left-leaning Socialist party that is pro-LGBT, on its Twitter page announced that Tamara Adrián had been elected to represent the Venezuelan capital of Caracas.

National Electoral Council President Tibisay Lucena announced the governing United Socialist Party of Venezuela that President Nicolás Maduro heads lost its majority in the National Assembly.

Lucena has not yet announced the official results of individual races.

“We accept the results as they are,” Maduro told supporters in Caracas after Lucena announced the initial results.

Sunday’s elections took place against the backdrop of an economic crisis in the oil-rich South American nation that has caused chronic shortages of basic goods and growing political and social instability.

“People are standing in line for hours — eight, nine hours in order to buy a chicken or to buy some meat,” Adrián told the Washington Blade earlier this year as she discussed her campaign. “It’s a very difficult environment from an economic point of view and it has to be addressed from the Parliament.”

Secretary of State John Kerry in a statement on Monday congratulated “the people of Venezuela for making their voices heard in a peaceful and democratic way on Election Day.”

“Venezuelan voters expressed their overwhelming desire for a change in the direction of their country. Dialogue among all parties in Venezuela is necessary to address the social and economic challenges facing the country, and the United States stands ready to support such a dialogue together with others in the international community,” he said.

State Department spokesperson John Kirby on Monday told the Blade during his daily press briefing that he did not have any comment on Adrián’s election.

Luisa Revilla Urcia, the first openly trans person elected to public office in Peru, applauded it.

“We are very pleased with another trans woman in power,” Revilla told the Blade. “This is a great triumph.”

Michael K. Lavers has been a staff writer for the Washington Blade since May 2012. The passage of Maryland's same-sex marriage law, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the burgeoning LGBT rights movement in Latin America and the consecration of gay New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson are among the many stories he has covered since his career began in 2002. Follow Michael

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