Today’s Doodle honors Indigenous Argentine human rights activist Amancay Diana Sacayán. On this day in 2012, Sacayán became the first Argentine trans woman to receive a national identity card affirming her gender. The Doodle artwork, illustrated by Buenos Aires-based guest artist Juan Dellacha, depicts Sacayán as a joyful activist whose persistence, in spite of all the violence she suffered throughout her whole life, left a huge legacy.
A proud descendant of the Diaguita people, Sacayán was born in Tucumán, Argentina, on December 31, 1975. She and her 15 siblings moved to Buenos Aires, where she would spend most of her life. Sacayán enjoyed school until she was expelled as a result of coming out as transgender. She faced police persecution quickly and was arrested multiple times for her clothing choice and trans identity.
Sacayán fought tirelessly for LGBTQ+ rights during her life. She was involved with many activist groups, notably a member of the National Front for the Gender Identity Law and a leader of the International Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Association. She founded the Movimiento Antidiscriminatorio de Liberación (Anti-Discriminatory Liberation Movement), which was dedicated to improving human rights for the queer community, focusing on inclusion within schools, workplaces, and hospitals. Today, because of her activism, trans people can have their name and gender respected when they access health care.
1% of public sector employees in Buenos Aires are in the trans community, thanks to the Trans Labor Quota Law that Sacayán promoted. This law was expanded to the national level in 2020, but tragically, Sacayán was not around to see it. She was killed in a hate crime in 2015, and her murderer is considered the first person in Argentina to be convicted of a hate crime against the trans community.
Her resilience and accomplishments continue to inspire. She persuaded the public sector to include trans people, advocated for hospitals to use people's correct names, and set an example by being the first legally recognized trans person in her country. Thank you for dedicating your life to vastly improve trans rights, Amancay Diana Sacayán.
Guest Artist Q&A with Juan Dellacha
Today’s Doodle was illustrated by Buenos Aires-based guest artist Juan Dellacha. Below, he shares his thoughts behind the making of this Doodle:
Q. Why was this topic meaningful to you personally?
A: As part of the LGBT+ community, I felt very touched with the opportunity to illustrate Diana, who was such an important person to us and whose activism I admire. It is so important to see the faces of the people who have fought so long and so hard to have the rights we have today. I think of her as a heroine, she was an example to follow.
Q. What were your first thoughts when you were approached about the project?
A: When I received the proposal to work on a Doodle I was already excited, but when I was told that it was to celebrate Diana Sacayán, it was even more thrilling! I felt a lot of responsibility, but most of all, I felt very honored to illustrate a portrait that celebrated her.
The first ideas I had were about representing her joy and her legacy. The first image that comes to my mind when I think of her is her peaceful glance and her beautiful smile. I think that the joy she transmitted and her tireless activism, despite all the violence she went through, was revolutionary.
Q. Did you draw inspiration from anything in particular for this Doodle?
A: I googled pictures to capture her smile and joy and I also watched interviews. When you see her speaking, you can see she conveyed a lot of calm and wisdom, she had a quiet but firm way of speaking. Those subtleties can say a lot about a person and were a source of inspiration.
I also wanted to represent her native roots and environmental consciousness, so I included flowers and plants that are native from Argentina, for which I had to do some research, too. And what was a huge inspiration in particular was a poem that she wrote. It is called Cuando yo me vaya (When I leave). It talks about her after death and funeral, and it has all the things I wanted to communicate: her identity, her class consciousness, her native roots, her ideals, her humor and her joy.
Q. What message do you hope people take away from your Doodle?
A: Diana believed that the fight for LGBT+ rights also needed to have social, environmental, native and class consciousness too. It couldn’t be one without the other. I deeply agree with that and I think it’s very important to have that in mind, especially in the times we are living in. That’s why I was very interested in showing her intersectional activism, mixing all these different elements in one image that celebrated her, with Diana’s joyful smile in the middle.