Women who rewrite history in Colombia: Kiana, the queen of the heroic

Kiana, a Trans woman member of the table of victims of the armed conflict in the city of Cartagena, talks about her experience as a queen of sexual diversity.

The Woman Post | Luisa Fernanda Báez Toro*

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(This small chronicle is the second part of a series written during a trip to the city of Cartagena de Indias, Colombia. The objective of this was to collect stories of women victims of the armed conflict who have found in art a way to overcome their pain).

She enters the room wearing tight white jeans and a white t-shirt with handmade embroidery. She has her hair at the waist, has makeup on and is wearing some pink glasses that hide a large part of her face. She greets me with a kiss and asks me to let her organize before I start recording.

Kiana Lacutiv Doria is a trans woman member of the LGBTI board and the board of victims of the armed conflict in the city of Cartagena that through her experience has tried to empower and represent trans women.

“In 2014 I was chosen as queen of sexual diversity in Cartagena de Indias and I used this reign as a platform to make myself visible and teach that trans women exist and we are here to contribute to society from different ways of being,” she tells me while the sweat dries.

For several years Kiana has been responsible, through her organization, for defending the rights of the LGBTI population through culture. "In the wake of culture, dance and all the ancestral roots that our ancestors have left us, we understand that culture is a transforming element for society."

As thousands of victims in our country, Miss Lacutiv recognizes that there is an abandonment by the Government in terms of guarantees and provision of services: “the truth is that the Government owes a great debt to us victims of the armed conflict since we have historically been discriminated against and violated.”

According to her account, although she has struggled hard with her organization, the Government has never sat down with the district, department or LGBTI victims' tables to listen to her and attend her needs.

Sexual violence against diverse people sexually within the framework of the armed conflict has not been given so much attention, despite the fact that Trans women and Trans men put the highest share of violence.

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According to a document presented by the Colombian Ombudsman Office, this happens largely because there are currently no forms of registration that separately contemplate the categories of sex, sexual orientation and gender identity and the crossing of variables”.

According to the same report, Trans women were tortured, sexually raped and limited in their personality development because when they were seen as men disguised as women, armed actors became more violent against them.

For their part, "trans men … suffer corrective sexual violence, unwanted pregnancy as a mechanism for them to" learn "to assume their biological status as women" and are seen as a bad example for the community, as reported by the Ombudsman Office. 

“There are many Trans and poor women who have been affected by social inequality and have had to offer certain services or certain actions that society itself has proposed for us. Not because we ourselves do not perform in any area of society but because society itself has denigrated us to certain offices with which many of us are not identified,” says Kiana.

However, Lacutiv does not look hopeless: for her, each person is a world, each person has a life project and is here to claim, to generate change and to fight for their rights.

*This text was written in September 2019, as part of Luisa Báez's undergraduate thesis.

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