Culture, Multiculture, On Stage, Our People, Profiles

Identity is an undeniable right…

This is confirmed by Daniela Vega, the Chilean transsexual actress who has several international prizes at home. And she thinks that art is a space of resistance, of reflection and communion.

 

Daniela Vega. Photo: Prensa Latina

Martha Sánchez

 

The main character of “A fantastic woman”, winner of this year’s Oscar for Best Foreign-Language Film, would like to be able to stamp her name on her grave, in her country of birth.

“If I could, I wouldn’t take even a jug, not my rings, nor my glasses. When I die I would take my name, because my name is what I am, it is what I did, and it is what I wanted to do at the time that I was alive”, asserts the 28-year-old young woman, who started her gender transition at the age of 14. For Daniela, it is a question of dignity, that could be resolved with will. Why not? Where, then, is the dignity of the people? Where is the creation of rights for the dignity of the people? These and a host of other questions have currently made her into one of the most valuable activists in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transsexual community (LGBT).

After making history as the first transgender woman to take on the role of presenter at the Oscar awards ceremony, Time magazine chose her in 2018 as one of the 100 most influential personalities in the world.

Her portrayal of Marina Vidal, a trans woman, in Sebastián Lelio’s film, gave her a Platinum Prize, a Caleuche, and the awards of Best Actress in Palm Springs International Film Festival and the International Festival of New Latin American Cinema in Havana.

Daniela Vega Photo Wikipedia

She travelled to Cuba to participate again in actions for the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, which takes place every May under the direction of sexologist Mariela Castro.

According to Vega, in many countries on the Latin American continent, transsexual people are destined for menial tasks, not participation in politics, strategy and community. “And I feel that the “why” is responded to with the word fear, because it scares some people to empower certain people”, she noted.

The Oscar won by “A Fantastic Woman” in the United States gave her satisfaction and allowed her to make her voice louder. However, she prefers to defend the opportunity to listen to everyone.

“Why are some voices legitimate and others not? This is related to the legitimacy that we give to life, it shouldn’t be necessary to win an Oscar to be listened to, it should be enough just with the existence of the will to listen”, she maintains.

“When are the world states going to understand that identity is an undeniable right?” she asks.

And she also asks herself where the power of the states is to support the childhood of transgender people, as we are not speaking about someone who is becoming a horse, a dog or cat, but a human being and she demands this from her own experience, because she was a victim of discrimination in childhood.

“Speaking of human beings, it would be beautiful to understand that human rights cannot be spent like a credit card or as in a shopping centre, or like a luxury car, human rights are carried to the grave”, she said.

Photo Pixabay

“Who says that there are wars that are not legitimate, that there are unconquerable loves, that there are ungovernable bodies?” inquires this voracious poetry reader who arrived in the current world in search of an instrument of her own understanding.

Daniela says that, giving dignity to the people should be a political drive for all states and governments, as they have supported the right to universal suffrage, among others, because the dignity of human beings is its greatest wealth alongside diversity.

A fantastic woman”, the film that launched Vega into stardom, was not her first cinematic work. This was “La Visita”a film directed by Mauricio López Fernández, which allowed her to travel to various world festivals and gave her her first international awards as an actress.

She only responds with mystery to a question from Prensa Latina about what would interest her to do in the cinema. “I like surprising people, I prefer that they surprise themselves”, she responded. (PL)

(Translated by Donna Davison – Email: donna_davison@hotmail.com)

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