Transgender woman given asylum in Denmark

Feb. 4, 2013 at 8:55 AM

COPENHAGEN, Denmark, Feb. 4 (UPI) -- A Guatemalan woman became the first transgender person to be granted asylum in Denmark because she faces persecution in her native country, officials said.

Officials in Denmark granted Fernanda Milan asylum in September after she initially was refused, The Copenhagen Post reported Monday. She was set to be deported after her initial denial, but LGBT Denmark appealed, providing documentation her life would be in danger if she returned to Guatemala.

"We are very relieved that our struggle, together with Fernanda, ended in her being granted asylum," said Stine Larsen, a representative of the T-Refugee Project, an organization that supported her case. "But it has been a soul-destroying asylum process with an initial refusal, which was then reversed just three days before her scheduled departure on Sept. 17."

Milan was an outspoken campaigner for transgender rights in Guatemala, resulting in attacks and threats from police, the Post reported.

"She has been fighting for her own survival but she has also fought for transgender seekers who will come after her," Larsen said. "We hope Fernanda's case means it will be easier for future transgender asylum seekers."

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