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Michelle Suarez

Uruguay appointed its first transgender senator



Michelle Suarez has became Uruguay's first transgender senator Tuesday, vowing to use her position to further the rights of transgender people in the country.

The 34-year-old lawmaker, who represents the Communist Party said she intends to push legislation that would allow transgender people change their legal identities without having to get a judge's approval.

"Uruguay has evolved, but it's still a discriminatory country," Suarez told the Associated Press.

In an interview, Suarez said at the age of 15 she acknowledged that she was a woman living in a male body. She added that her parents have always been supportive, but some classmates and teachers discriminated against her.

"It was a tough time," Suarez said. "People who knew me began to harass me."

The senator later became the first transgender person to earn a university law degree in Uruguay and helped draft a bill that legalized gay marriage,.

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