Life has been a struggle for Ecuadorian transgender couple Diane Rodriguez and Fernando Machado. They have faced extended homelessness as well as abduction, but they have continued to fight for their rights and have become a beacon of hope for many.
Diane Rodriguez was born a boy first stepped into the public eye when she was the first openly transgender person to run for office her homeland in 2013. She entered in the news again in 2015, when her transgendered partner, Fernando, became pregnant with a child.
This was a first in South American history and quickly captured the attention of the world.
Previously, the law in her country stated that to be seen as female officially, the penis needed to be removed completely. Even with the change to the law, Diane had stated that she had never considered becoming a parent because she was transgender. Even with no thoughts of becoming a parent, the couple has been happily raising a child that arrived in June of 2016.
Fernando recalled the movement that he realized that he was pregnant.
“I immediately began to cry with fear, happiness, and dread, all at once,” he stated.He finally felt as though he was happy, even though the idea was also terrifying. “I had never felt like that before…it was the most beautiful moment.”
Their baby was conceived through natural means, as neither parent had opted to undergo surgery on their lower bodies due to the extreme costs.
Both parents chose to share their pregnancy and their journey through parenthood as transgender parents with the world through social media. They even posted photos of the cesarean scars after the baby was born.
“Guess where we are and that is what we are doing,” Machado captioned a snapshot of the happy parents wearing hospital gowns while they were in the maternity ward.
The couple is hoping to use the worldwide interest in their relationship and situation to work to dispel deep prejudices and stigmas regarding transgender issues. Fernando has proudly stated that they are exactly the same as other families who are just welcoming a child into their lives.
“Even though we may not have the same rights, we are the same,” he stated. Diane added that they live just like any other man or woman that you might meet.
“Fernando is a transmasculine man and I am a transfeminine woman,” she said in interviews. “The process to get to this point for incredibly complex for both of us. And it is our right, and we know it is, to add another member to our family.”