Colombian Transsexual Challenges Military Requirement
Juan David Laverde Palma

BOGOTA — When 31-year-old Grace Kely sic, a transsexual living in Bogotá, applied to become a nurse with the city government last year, the hiring process ground to a sudden halt. It happened when the municipal department she hoped to work for told her they couldn’t hire her without a certificate showing she had completed her military service.

Kely appealed what she called an “absurd” requirement — at least for transsexuals — arguing the mandatory service violated her right to work and live without discrimination. A judge disagreed, and the case is being reviewed by Colombia's Constitutional Court.

The fact is that the certificate is a requirement, and there is no legal exemption so far for transsexuals. Several gay rights organizations have backed Kely's case, sending the Constitutional Court documents and written arguments about why an exemption is necessary.

Activists are arguing, for example, that transsexuals would very likely face discrimination in the army, for starters during the naked inspection to which new recruits are subjected.

Kely is also receiving support from the ombudsman's office and the Bogotá municipal government, run by the progressive Mayor Gustavo Petro. The municipality has sent the court documents to show that while almost all gays have faced discrimination, transsexuals have faced the highest number of cases. Kely describes her battle as “collective” in the hope that a ruling will protect others in the future.


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Society

Germany's Legendary Clubbing Culture Crashes Museum Space

The exhibition “Electro” in Düsseldorf is an unlikely tribute to a joyful and uninhibited club culture, with curators forced to contend with limits of a museum setting ... and another COVID lockdown.

A woman with a "Techno" tattoo in front of the famous Berghain

Boris Pofalla

DÜSSELDORF — The last party at the Berghain nightclub in Berlin lasted from Saturday evening until Monday morning. On the first weekend of December, some clubbers lined up for nine hours outside the former power plant – and still didn’t make it past the doormen. A friend said that dancing in the most famous techno club in the world on its last evening was like landing a spot in the last lifeboat to leave the sinking Titanic on 14 April 1912.

It is surely a coincidence that the first comprehensive exhibition charting the 100-year history of electronic music in Germany opened in the same week that nightclubs across the country were forced to close. It wasn’t planned that way, but it’s like opening an exhibition about the cultural history of alcohol the day after the introduction of prohibition.

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