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Michelle Suarez

Uruguay appointed its first transgender senator

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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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