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  • The young man you see in the center of this photograph is Darwin Petate, he invented his surname, PETATE is a raw mat, woven out of grass, on which Mayan Indians used to sleep. Darwin and I had planned a meeting about the Human Rights Of Gays, Lesbians, Trans - And Intersexual human - beings. I had to learn what INTERSEXUAL means (hermaphrodite) and also there exist Non - Sexuals, which are not included in this group, but they are included, because anyone is, it is about the Human Rights of ANYONE. I was impressed by this young (should I say?) man: He seems like a manwoman or womanman, he looks very Mayan from Yucatán, he is a lawyer and an activist. I asked him: Are you gay? Lesbian? Trans? Inter? His or her answer was kind of that he/she is a bit of everything.. Most of all he/she seems to be one of the smartest minds. Darwin fights for the rights of transsexual illegal immigrants from the TRIANGLE OF DEATH: Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, where transsexuals are harrassed and attacked and abused even more so than here in Mexico. Darwin is this smart mind, soft voice, quick and intelligent speech and fearless heart. Yes, he has been threatened. Yes, his family has been attacked. How he became that fearless? His partner, a young man, was violently killed for being a young gay in Tuxtla a couple of years ago. The murderer was never found, the crime - as most in Mexico - goes and seemingly forever - unresolved.

    " When they killed my partner," explains Darwin," my heart became fearless and I turned into the activist that I am."

    After a recent meeting with members of other groups of society that feel INVISIBLE, where I was confronted with fierce and very angry and very avangarde Lesbian and Transexual militants, who honestly scareds me quite a bit, it was refreshing to be with and listen to Darwin: so smart, so true what he said, so soft and so strong. He came 2 hours late to the meeting and everybody had stayed to wait for him, we listened for another hour and a half and could have listened to his knowledge pouring out of him for another couple of hours. It was politics and resitence and pleasure, it was lovingly, with humor, not with fury.

    The most refreshing aspect for me was to not know if this conferencist in front of me was a man or a woman, gay or straight, heterosexual or bi or whatever, I just liked that human - being for being the human - being he/she is. The ESSENCE. Who cares at all then about sex or practices of sex or preferences or whatever? It is the Human Element in each of us that opens the heart and makes HOPE possible!
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