Lesbian Visibility Day in Argentina Date in the current year: March 7, 2024

Lesbian Visibility Day in Argentina Lesbian Visibility Day (Día de la Visibilidad Lésbica) is observed in Argentina on March 7 every year. It was established to honor the memory of Natalia “Pepa” Gaitán, a 27-year-old lesbian woman who was murdered by her girlfriend’s stepfather on this day in 2010.

Argentina is considered one of the most LGBT-friendly countries in the world. According to a survey conducted by the Per Research Center in 2020, three quarters of Argentinians believe that homosexuality should be accepted in the society. Another survey, conducted by Ipsos Group in 2001, found out that almost 70% of Argentinians support LGBT visibility and equality.

Same-sex sexual activity in Argentina has been legal since 1887, and the age of consent is the same for opposite-sex and same-sex couples. Same-sex couples are allowed to marry and adopt, and lesbian couples have access to IVF. LGBT people are allowed to openly serve in the military, transgender people are allowed to change their legal gender (with the third gender option being available since 2021), and men who have sex with men are allowed to donate blood.

However, even though LGBT rights in Argentina rank among the highest in the world and public opinion in the country is generally accepting of LGBT people, it doesn’t mean that homophobia and transphobia been completely eradicated. Queer people still encounter discrimination (as of 2024, Argentina didn’t have nationwide anti-discrimination laws) and fall victim to hate crimes. One of the most egregious hate crimes on the basis of sexual orientation in Argentina was the murder of Pepa Gaitán.

Natalia “Pepa” Gaitán was an out and proud lesbian woman from Córdoba. On March 7, 2010, she was shot dead in the chest by her girlfriend’s stepfather, Daniel Torres. The court classified the murder of Pepa Gaitán as manslaughter aggravated by the use of firearms and sentenced Torres to 14 years in prison in August 2011.

Gaitán’s family and LGBT activists were not satisfied with the sentence because they wanted the prosecutor and the court to acknowledge that the murder was a hate crime motivated by Gaitán’s sexual identity. The next year, the penal code of Argentina was amended to provide a penalty of up to life imprisonment for hate crimes, including those based on sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.

In 2013, the death anniversary of Pepa Gaitán was designated as Lesbian Visibility Day to raise awareness of lesbophobia that still persists even in mostly LGBT-friendly countries like Argentina. The day is marked by marches, rallies, awareness events, social media campaigns, and other events and activities that highlight the challenges that lesbian and bisexual women face, honor the victims of hate crimes, and unite the LGBTQ+ community.

Argentina is not the only country that celebrates Lesbian Visibility Day. Similar observances are held in other Latin American countries such as Chile (July 9), Brazil (August 29) and Paraguay (September 16). The United States, the United Kingdom, and some other countries observe Lesbian Visibility Week, starting on April 26.

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