Mexiko: Elsa Patria Jiménez Flores

The only fight you lose is the one you give up.

— Elsa Patria Jiménez Flores

As a girl, she wanted to be a sailor. Her mother did not contradict her and bought her trousers. Her father had long awaited for a daughter and the opportunity to call her by a much-loved name: Patria –fatherland. She has a large family by blood and another one by choice. She is tribal, lesbian and the spiritual daughter of Chavela Vargas – a famous international singer, known for her love songs for women.

Elsa Patria Jiménez Flores began her work in support of lesbians publicly acting in their favor, at a time when they were still persecuted by the authorities. It was the beginning of the gay and lesbian movement in Mexico that has been a paradigm in Latin America and the Caribbean. “My father was political and had a romantic image of a woman with a flag in the clouds. She represented the native land. He wanted to give one of his daughters the patriotic name of Patria. My mother said, ‘That is not a name.’ However, the name became mine, but my mother negotiated a compound name: I became Elsa Patria Jiménez Flores.” She was born near the Mexican desert and grew up in the streets of Mexico City. She discovered early on that she was a lesbian, but thought, “This is not possible,” until she met the activists. From the age of 19, it has been her mission to work in support of women, helping to found one of the first lesbian groups in Mexico and affiliating it with the feminist movement. “My activism was a way of life. Although I was a little late in encountering lesbian organizations, I knew that it was my life.” In 1997, Elsa Patria was made a member of the Parliament. While there, she managed to develop a number of solutions for the problems of women in prison and missing children. She also worked for women's rights, and gay and lesbian rights. When her mandate ended, she directed her work towards denouncing and fighting against the assassinations of the women in Ciudad Juárez (in the North of Mexico, sadly known, for over 10 years, for the continuous and increasing assassination and rape of hundreds of poor women–‘feminicide’).

El closet de Sor Juana