Mexican President Apologizes To Trans Lawmaker After Saying ‘I Also Kiss Men,’ Calling Him A ‘Man Dressed As A Woman’

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador apologized to a member of his own party on Tuesday after calling the trans-identifying lawmaker a “man dressed as a woman.”

While answering questions during a press conference on Monday, 70-year-old Lopez Obrador was asked about an interaction he had with Salma Luevano at a public event when the president kissed Luevano on the cheek.

“I also kiss men,” the Mexican president said before referring to Luevano as “a man dressed as a woman,” Spanish newspaper El País reported.

Lopez Obrador apologized Tuesday for referring to the trans-identifying lawmaker as a man.

“I want to… offer an apology to a colleague who identifies as a woman,” said Lopez Obrador, according to Reuters.

“Today the president @lopezobrador_ offered me an apology for making a bad generalization. This declaration is very important, because it makes visible a fight that has taken us decades,” Luevano wrote on X. “I am a woman … and that is not up for discussion. Now to wait for the president to receive me.”

Lopez Obrador was criticized before he was sworn into office in 2018 for kissing a female reporter on the cheek after she asked him a question, the Associated Press reported

. The reporter, Lorena Garcia, said the kiss was “inappropriate” since she was in a professional setting trying to do her job.

Luevano, 55, was elected to the Mexican legislature in 2021, one of two trans-identifying men who won seats in that election. Luevano became an LGBTQ activist after he was detained by authorities for wearing women’s clothing in public in the 1990s.

In 2022, Luevano accused Gabriel Quadri, a member of the Mexican Chamber of Deputies, of threatening him with political violence after Quadri referred to Luevano as “sir” and said that “trans women are men who pretend to be women,” according to El País.

“That a trans woman arrives in these decision-making spaces normalizes what is normal,” Luevano told El País earlier this year. “By educating, she raises awareness, if she raises awareness she creates empathy and by creating empathy she helps lower all hate crime statistics. That is why we cannot allow that door that has already been opened to be closed again.

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