The well-known transsexual Soraya Santiago passed away today, according to activist Pedro Julio Serrano through social networks. She was 72 years old.
“He broke schemes, he lived free, he fought like nobody else. Long before anyone took steps to affirm their identity, Soraya dignna positioned herself in history, ”Serrano said in a message he posted on Instagram with a photo with Soraya.
“I have dared a lot in life,” Soraya Santiago told the Index newspaper three years ago.
46 years ago, Santiago became the first transsexual woman on the island who, in addition to performing her sex reassignment, was able to change all her documentation with the gender that now corresponds to her.
At the age of 70, she wrote a biographical book entitled “Hand Made: Gender Dysphoria”, studied Political Science at the University of Puerto Rico and was seeking a doctorate in jurisprudence from Harvard University.
“I can assure you that neither mockery nor injustice, nor aggression or discrimination eroded my foundations or my desire to continue in the knowledge and acceptance of my human condition,” he wrote in his text.
Soraya our heroine for the fight for the dignity of our compatriots from the TRANS community died after a battle against cancer. We love you, we owe you a lot and we will never forget you. Rest my dear but keep giving us strength from there. I will miss you. pic.twitter.com/S4YkPjJ7v5
– Carmen Yulín Cruz (@CarmenYulinCruz) September 22, 2020
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Immortal Soraya. Legendary, visionary, pioneer. Today she goes to another plane, but her legacy will be eternal. She broke schemes, she lived free, she fought like nobody else. Long before anyone took steps to assert their identity, Soraya dignna positioned herself in history. Their friendship was unconditional and ironclad, their loyalty unwavering, their love was absolute. I am honored to know that I always had her love and that she always believed in me. Soraya, you live in my heart and in that of so many people to whom your life opened paths of equity, love, freedom, justice and hope. I loved you, I love you and I will love you. 🇵🇷❤️🏳️🌈
Soraya had surgery in 1972 in New York City, as she told Primera Hora in an interview in 2002. Her mother accompanied her to the operation, as she had the support of her family.
“The first time I saw myself naked, I saw the woman I always wanted to be,” she said. It was in the Carolina court that she achieved the sex change in her documentation.