Former politician Alejandra González Pino passed away on Oct. 5. She was known as the first trangender and LGBTQ+ member to be elected to public office in Latin America and the Caribbean. The former Councilor of Lampa died due to a heart failure at her residency.
On Oct. 5, a Chilean LGBTQ+ icon passed away: Former politician Alejandra González Pino died at the age of 54 due to heart failure. In 2004, she won the election for Councilor of the Municipality of Lampa, making history, not just by being the first transgender person to be elected to public office, but by being the first member of the whole LGBTQ+ community in Latin America and the Caribbean.
“We have lost a great woman, a great activist, a tireless fighter, one of those who fought through thick and thin and in public contexts almost totally transphobic. Alejandra will remain forever in the memory of our fights. Her legacy is historic and unique,” Homosexual Integration and Liberation Movement (Movilh) leader Roland Jimenez said, in a statement commemorating her life and contributions.
Before running for public office, González Pino worked in a circus. Later, she opened her own hair salon. In 1995, she became the president of a neighborhood council in Lampa, where she cultivated a desire to help her community. Then, in 2004, she decided to run for office in the municipal elections of Lampa as an independent member of the left pact Together We Can, and she won the councilor position. In 2008, she ran for reelection and won again. In 2012, the same happened.
As soon as her death was reported, several authorities publicly acknowledged the former Lampa councilor’s legacy.
Chilean Lower House member Emilia Schneider, for example, called on people to “make her visible and keep our partner in memory.” The Provincial Presidential Delegation of Chacabuco also shared its condolences, underscoring what an important example she was of inclusivity in politics for Latin America and the Caribbean.
Catalina Vergara is graduated in Social Communications from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. She has previously worked on Strategic Communications.