March 21, 2017 at 6:00 am EDT | by Michael K. Lavers
Activist seeks to become first trans person elected in Honduras

Kendra Stefani Jordany, gay news, Washington Blade

Kendra Stefani Jordany is a transgender woman from San Pedro Sula, Honduras, who is running for a seat in the Central American Parliament (Photo courtesy of Kendra Stefani Jordany)

An activist in Honduras would become the first openly transgender candidate elected in the country if she were to win a seat in the Central American Parliament.

Kendra Stefani Jordany, who is a member of the Liberty and Refoundation (LIBRE) party from the city of San Pedro Sula, finished 18 among the list of 20 candidates for the Central American Parliament who received enough votes in the March 12 primary to qualify for the general election.

Jordany is the first openly trans person to ever win a primary election in Honduras.

“It’s an immense historical achievement,” she told the Washington Blade on March 17 during a WhatsApp interview from San Pedro Sula.

The Central American Parliament, which is part of the System of Central American Integration, promotes human rights and political stability in the region. Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama and the Dominican Republic are members of the Guatemala City-based body.

Honduras’ general elections are scheduled to take place on Nov. 26. Jordany told the Blade that she will “hopefully” be among the Central American Parliament candidates who remain on the ballot.

‘We must build alliances’

Jordany, 28, began her advocacy more than a decade ago when she was 16.

She is currently studying journalism in San Pedro Sula. Jordany is also planning to travel to the Dominican Republic next week in order to attend a conference the Gay and Lesbian Victory Institute is co-organizing.

Violence and discrimination based on gender identity remain commonplace in Honduras. San Pedro Sula, which is located in the northwest corner of the country, ranks as one of the world’s most violent cities that is not in a war zone because of street gangs and drug traffickers and Honduras’ Military Police that target them.

René Martínez, a prominent San Pedro Sula-based activist who was a member of President Juan Orlando Hernández’s ruling National Party, was killed in June 2016. A trans activist in San Pedro Sula with whom the Blade spoke last month said she has survived two assassination attempts over the last year.

San Pedro Sula, gay news, Washington Blade

San Pedro Sula (Honduras) City Hall (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)

Jordany told the Blade she has not received any threats because of her campaign or activism. She also said she would work on non-LGBT and intersex issues if elected.

“We must build alliances,” said Jordany.

Claudia Spellman, the former director of a San Pedro Sula-based HIV/AIDS service organization who now lives in the D.C. area with her wife after she received death threats, and Victoria Gómez, who has sought asylum in Spain after she was threatened and attacked in the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa, are two trans women who unsuccessfully ran for the Honduran congress in 2012 as LIBRE candidates.

Erick Martínez, coordinator of the Diversity Movement in Resistance’s Human Rights Committee, on March 12 lost his bid to become the first openly gay person elected to the Honduran congress.

He was a candidate for LIBRE and the Anti-Corruption Party. Erick Martínez was a LIBRE candidate when he ran for congress in 2012.

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

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