Spain’s equality minister explains why it’s cis men that threaten cis women, not trans people

Spain's equality minister Irene Montero just gave a masterclass in how to speak up for vulnerable minorities

Spain’s equality minister Irene Montero has been praised for a speech on LGBTQ+ rights while defending the government’s draft self-ID bill.

Speaking on the bill, which the Spanish government advanced past its first stages in June, Montero made her support for the trans community clear, explaining that trans women pose no threat to women.

“No man needs to impersonate women to rape women, to sexually assault women,” she said after a right-wing MP questioned how self-ID would impact women-only spaces.

“Trans people do not put us (cis women) at risk,” she said in a now-viral video.

“It is wage inequality, women’s care burden, and sexist male aggressors that put us at risk.”

The draft self-ID bill, supported by Montero, would allow trans people in Spain over the age of 16 to update their gender marker and name on official documents without being forced to get a medical diagnosis.

Currently, trans people in Spain must have a gender dysphoria diagnosis or have been prescribed hormone therapy before they can legally change their name and gender on official documents.

Montero previously told reporters at a news conference that Spain was “making history” by passing the draft bill, representing a “giant step forward for LGBTI rights and particularly those of trans people”.

She said: “I think we’re not just launching a clear message when it comes to the protection and defence of everyone… but also to Europe as a whole, which is that human rights and guaranteeing the freedom, dignity and happiness of everyone – whoever they are and whoever they love – are the foundations of the European project.”

However some LGBTQ+ activists have criticised the bill for not going far enough, with Mar Cambrollé from the non-profit organisation Plataforma Trans arguing that it does not protect the rights of trans people under the age of 14.

“It’s a brutal trim from of what we had demanded for decades,” Cambrollé told the Associated Press.

“It does not develop specific policies to deal with unemployment of trans people, it does not delve into protocols for preventing harassment in educational centres, it does not speak of a health care model for us and it does not touch on sports.”

Self-ID is not the only progressive law that Spain has introduced in recent years, with massive fines proposed for anybody who is found promoting LGBTQ+ conversion therapy in the country, and an extension of free fertility treatment to queer women, single women, and trans and non-binary people proposed in November 2021.