|Pride parade in Paraguay|
Mariana Sepulveda has been stabbed on the street, detained by police and expelled from her high school — all for being transgender in Paraguay, one of the most sexually conservative countries in Latin America.
"I've felt hate for not being heterosexual," said Sepulveda, 32, who now works for an advocacy group. "Raising a family, having a partner, adopting children seems out of reach because there are no legal conditions for us in Paraguay."
A lack of legal protections and prevalent macho attitudes have long stoked discrimination against lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people in the poor, mostly Roman Catholic country. Advocacy groups fear the stigma and attacks on the LGBQT community could get worse now that the education minister has banned classes about sexual diversity in schools and even volunteered to help burn all books related to the subject.
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