The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) provides information about GLBT rights in various parts of the world. The information is limited but helps give a feel for the status of transgendered and queer people in the area by reporting on laws, news, moods, movements, campaigns, and personal stories.
This site has been helpful in getting a better understanding of laws in various countries for my research paper, and also just interesting to explore. You can choose a statement or question about LGBT rights and statuses and the map on the home page will become color coded to show you what each country’s general position is on that subject. They may tell you if a country has certain policies or not, or if they are only in some parts of the country.
Although this type of information is very generalized and lacks context, you can also click on a country to try and get more information on it and begin investigating it further. The laws section shows the information ILGA has gathered on various laws concerning gay and trans people and sometimes gives the name of the law or even a summary of what it states. The news tab shows latest news stories about LGBT issues, which may show positivity or negativity. The mood section is there to give a feel for the social climate as well as a tab on the movement and one for people to post personal stories from their country.
One issue with the site, although not entirely surprising, is the lack of data for most of the world and even in several tabs of a better-researched country. At first I was disappointed about this but I realized I’ve been spoiled, being able to find almost anything on the Internet. Studying transgender issues is not easy, considering that the study is still fairly new and much of the data hasn’t been collected yet and the articles not written yet.
I explored the Argentina site, because it is a country I will be discussing in my research paper. Compared to many other countries, Argentina has a good amount of data. For laws, they list subjects such as male to male relationships, female to female relationships, age of consent, LGBTI families/parenting, gender identity, marriage and substitute for marriage, anti-discrimination laws, freedom of association, of expression, armed forces, blood donation, and asylum and immigration. Here you can find out that male to male sexual relationships are not illegal and same sex marriages are recognized on a national level. There are only anti-discrimination laws based on sexual orientation in some areas. They also tell you that there is a clear legal difference in Argentina between homosexuality and transgenderism and that there are, again, only laws in some areas banning discrimination on the basis of gender identity and there are no laws banning this descrimination in employment. Transgenderism is not seen as an illness and sex reassignment treatment and/or surgery is under legal control. It is possible to get legal documents changed to include your current gender identity and name.
This site can be helpful in getting an overview and general idea of the status of LGBT people in various parts of the world, but I think it is important to dig deeper and think critically when looking at the information. As I have learned, in cases such as Argentina, although the rights for transgendered people might look fairly good, comparatively, as listed, the reality of freedom and safety for many trans people living the in country is different. I think if the personal stories, “Your Stories,” sections were successful this might help remedy this disconnect.