Diana Málaga

22 Nov, 2018 | Sophie Blow

Social issues and Enterprise & Industry

Photos: Sophie Blow/Adriana L. Murillo A.

Stitching the challenging road toward the rights of transgender Bolivians

In the hustle and bustle of the market in La Paz that leads to the city’s cemetery, it’s hard to miss Diana Málaga’s storefront. Bursting at the seams with vibrant designs inspired by the traditional chola dress, it’s difficult not to be drawn in by the staggering array of meticulously-sewn outfits on display.

Eager customers who step into the store, excited to get their hands on one of Málaga’s playful and creative spins on the traditional Bolivian dress, will find the store owner adorning sequins and beads to handmade garments ready to cater to the indigenous community of La Paz. Málaga is not only a successful designer and businesswoman with a degree in Social Communication, she is also the first transgender woman to identify as a chola.

Fashion has been more than a means for Málaga to express her passion for creative design. First and foremost, it was a means of survival, a way to pay the bills. Málaga turned to a career in fashion due to the intense gender discrimination in the workplace in Bolivia, which made it almost impossible for her to secure a well-paid job in the country ‘I have been unemployed,’ Málaga explained, highlighting the vicious circle of poverty that the transgender community faces in Bolivia due to a lack of education.

Málaga’s love for design has opened doors for her to speak to the press about her desire to eradicate public ignorance towards sexuality. As a university student at UMSA in 2001, she was forced to repeat a year of her studies after she legally changed her name. What should have been a simple administrative change, ‘took a year to be legally accepted,’ she says. ‘My fight has been hard, but, yes, I have won.’

Throughout her transition, Málaga has been unjustly criticised by onlookers who, blinded by ignorance about sexuality, undermine her claim: ‘I am a woman, I am going to have children.’ ‘Being a woman is not about having a vagina,’ Málaga explains. ‘Gender comes from your own self-awareness, your own brain.’ Bombarded with negative comments from relatives and strangers alike, Málaga never gave up the fight to be her real self, Diana María Málaga, ‘A transgender woman first and a chola second.’

Málaga drew public attention during her transformation as ‘the first transexual to identify as a chola.’ A chola (also known as a ‘cholita’) is usually associated with a traditional dress and a unique silhouette. The outfit typically consists of a small bowler hat, long plaits with tassled cords tied in a knot at the ends, a shawl and a large, ankle-length skirt that maximises the size of the hips and creates the desired silhouette. Being a chola, is more than just dressing the part. It is an integral part of a woman’s identity. It is away of life. As Málaga says, ‘A folklore dancer is not a chola.’ For these dancers, the traditional dress is part of a persona they recreate to give life to Bolivian cultural heritage.

A woman usually identifies as a chola by heritage. It is an identity that is passed down through the maternal bloodline. Málaga’s mother did not wear traditional dress like the women in the family who had come before her, but when her grandmother, a chola, invited Málaga to a party where she was to wear traditional dress, Málaga became inspired by this indigenous Bolivian look.

The decision to be a chola was a fashion choice, but ‘it started as a costume,’ Málaga points out. As a 1.78m tall transgender woman, she quickly became aware that it would be a real challenge to find a cholita ensemble for a woman of her stature. Before long, she found herself behind a sewing machine manufacturing her first pollera, a sombrero, a shawl and a complete cholita outfit. This was the start of Málaga’s journey of transformation as a chola. What started as a fashion choice quickly evolved into a core part of her identity as a Bolivian woman.

So what does it mean to be a cholita today in Bolivia? Following decades of racial discrimination, the word ‘chola’ has taken on pejorative connotations that echo Bolivia’s history of oppression towards indigenous communities. As a result, the term ‘cholita’ emerged, using the suffix ‘-ita’ in Spanish as a diminutive. Although ‘cholita’ is often considered a term of endearment for indigenous women, Málaga doesn’t see it this way. ‘I am not a cholita because it is a diminutive term, on a small scale,’ she says. Even though, the word ‘chola’ is largely considered a discriminatory term, Málaga has ‘worked hard to shape this word.’ Like her tireless efforts to protect the rights of the transgender community, she has also struggled for a future without prejudice towards indigenous people in Bolivia.





‘I want to make sure that nothing is impossible for transgender women.’

—Diana Málaga





Today, Málaga has a home and a husband to whom she has been married for seven years. She hosts a radio programme, has been interviewed on TV and hosts a television show on the channel ‘11 Red Uno de Bolivia.’ She uses her status within the LGBT community to provoke crucial discussions about prominent social issues in Bolivia, including domestic violence and human rights. She is a true icon in the LGBT community of La Paz, with a website that attracts visitors who eager to learn more about her journey as well as opponents to her cause.

So what’s next for Diana Málaga? As a woman with aspirations of securing greater rights for the transgender community in Bolivia, a move towards the world of politics could be in the cards. She hopes to effect change for the rest of her community by working tirelessly for gender rights in Bolivia and by fighting for greater public acceptance of all genders rather than settling for widespread gender tolerance. One of her main objectives for the future is to help redefine gender, not as a set of physical characteristics, but as an emotional and mental awareness of who you really are.



‘Gender comes from your own self-awareness, your own brain.’

—Diana Málaga


Comments

roh
17 Jun, 2019 | 07:23
This is good piece of writing and pleasant urging commented here, I am really enjoying by these. <a href="https://www.rankerhub.com/hotmail-sign-up-login">hotmail signup</a>
https://www.mitpanim.co.il/
15 Jun, 2019 | 08:25
They are additionally perfect for work environments. In the event that you happen to possess a development firm.
mojhit
12 Jun, 2019 | 03:46
Do you like playing <a href="https://www.rankerhub.com/how-to-get-the-best-treatment-for-sports-injuries/">sports</a>?
avenue south residence
06 Jun, 2019 | 19:52
At that point in the later piece of the 1600's Andre Le Notre, who structured the greenhouses at the Chateau de Versailles, planned the road so that there was an incredible view from the Tuileries gardens.
mobile legend bang bang game
04 Jun, 2019 | 21:00
Push through the towers in the various lands with your comrades in Mobile Legend: Bang Bang. Defeat the turtles for extra gold and exp points to level up your hero quickly.
hard money loan
03 Jun, 2019 | 21:16
Awesome things you've generally imparted to us. Simply continue written work this sort of posts.The time which was squandered in going for educational cost now it can be utilized for studies.Thanks
attic mold removal
28 May, 2019 | 07:27
This is a general idea and will keep from uncovering their maximum capacity. Indeed, even.
Click here
21 May, 2019 | 23:01
Fences neighbors forgiveness is the best part of a person life is to forgive other peoples.There are also a type of person which are known to be the kind heated as well as known as to be the best forgiveness ability.
Call Girls in Goa
21 May, 2019 | 01:11
Now and again it is great to think about such sort of article and I trust you'll impart more to in future too.
$1 year web hosting
13 May, 2019 | 05:58
I think it would be much more useful for everyone
godaddy 1$ hosting
13 May, 2019 | 05:57
I think it would be much more useful for everyone
Click here
12 May, 2019 | 12:04
A light vehicle which is easy to ride and control is advance. In America a unique essay writing services bamboo bike or cycle is getting highly famous and the product made by Japanese. The whole world prefer this vehicle because it is Eco friendly.
Click here
12 May, 2019 | 12:01
A light vehicle which is easy to ride and control is advance. In America a unique essay writing services bamboo bike or cycle is getting highly famous and the product made by Japanese. The whole world prefer this vehicle because it is Eco friendly.
Fashion Tips and Tricks From Pro Stylists. Find out if a pair of jeans fit without experience in the dressing room. 2. Make any outfit appearance first rate with just 3 key pieces. Test the waters of a shiny color via lipstick or accessories first.
11 May, 2019 | 03:34
Fashion Tips and Tricks From Pro Stylists. Find out if a pair of jeans fit without experience in the dressing room. 2. Make any outfit appearance first rate with just 3 key pieces. Test the waters of a shiny color via lipstick or accessories first.
edwerd
26 Apr, 2019 | 03:29
<a href="https://www.la.com"> nice post </a> [URL=https://www.lau.com] good post [/URL]
text bomb prank
20 Apr, 2019 | 06:45
First You got a great blog .I will be interested in more similar topics. i see you got really very useful topics, i will be always checking your blog thanks.
Website optimization Castricum (Kennemerland region) is a seo component and can be defined to make a website in Castricum score better in the organic search results of a search engine such as Google.
Escorts in Hyderabad
18 Apr, 2019 | 03:25
I was hunting down after this wonderful post and I am happy to have this post here. A dedication of gratefulness is totally to share this post.
disney hub
09 Apr, 2019 | 13:31
https://www.tutorialsweb.org/2019/02/tcs-webmail-tcs-webmail-login.html https://www.tutorialsweb.org/2019/03/rcn-webmail-rcn-webmail-login.html https://www.tutorialsweb.org/2019/03/bu-webmail-bu-webmail-login.html https://www.tutorialsweb.org/2019/03/towson-university-webmail-towson.html https://www.tutorialsweb.org/2019/03/cox-eemail-cox-email-login.html https://www.tutorialsweb.org/2019/03/godaddy-webmail-godaddy-webmail-login.html https://www.tutorialsweb.org/2019/02/walmart-one-login.html https://www.tutorialsweb.org/2019/03/walmart-credit-card-login-walmart.html https://www.tutorialsweb.org/2019/02/bookzzorg-download-ebooks-from-bookzz.html https://www.tutorialsweb.org/2019/03/gmail.html https://www.tutorialsweb.org/2019/03/JunoWebmail.html https://www.tutorialsweb.org/2019/03/outlook-webmail-outlook-web-access-owa.html https://www.tutorialsweb.org/2019/03/UPSers.html https://www.tutorialsweb.org/2019/03/gmailsignin.html https://www.tutorialsweb.org/2019/03/gmail-sign-up.html https://www.tutorialsweb.org/2019/03/19216811-19216811-admin-login.html https://www.tutorialsweb.org/2019/03/19216801.html https://www.tutorialsweb.org/2019/02/hotmail-email-account-sign-inmsn.html https://www.tutorialsweb.org/2019/03/aolmail-login.html https://www.tutorialsweb.org/2019/03/shaw-webmail-how-to-change-your-email.html https://www.tutorialsweb.org/2019/04/disney-hub.html
red oranda goldfish
07 Apr, 2019 | 14:59
I think this is an informative post and it is very useful and knowledgeable. therefore, I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article.
voyance sans cb
04 Apr, 2019 | 05:28
Excellent article plus its information and I positively bookmark to this site because here I always get an amazing knowledge as I expect. Thanks for this to share with us
Schedule
03 Apr, 2019 | 11:22
That gives off an impression of being fabulous anyway i am still not very beyond any doubt that I like it. At any rate will look much more into it and choose by and by!
pure slim 365
24 Mar, 2019 | 13:52
First You got a great blog .I will be interested in more similar topics. i see you got really very useful topics, i will be always checking your blog thanks.
www.myaarpmedicare.com
19 Mar, 2019 | 06:13
Just admiring your work and wondering how you managed this blog so well. It’s so remarkable that I can't afford to not go through this valuable information whenever I surf the internet!
sms bomber
13 Mar, 2019 | 07:41
First You got a great blog .I will be interested in more similar topics. i see you got really very useful topics, i will be always checking your blog thanks.
call girls in gurgaon
12 Mar, 2019 | 03:48
This is nice and good thanks for share us. <a href="http://www.callgirlservicegurugram.com/">Gurgaon Call Girls</a> <a href="http://www.callgirlservicegurugram.com/">gurgaon call girl service</a> <a href="http://www.callgirlservicegurugram.com/">call girl service in gurugram</a> <a href="http://www.callgirlservicegurugram.com/">call girl service in gurgaon</a> <a href="http://www.callgirlservicegurugram.com/">call girls in gurgaon</a> <a href="http://www.callgirlservicegurugram.com/">call girl gurugram</a> <a href="http://www.callgirlservicegurugram.com/">call girl in gurgaon</a> <a href="http://www.callgirlservicegurugram.com/">call girl gurgaon</a>
how to draw minions
09 Mar, 2019 | 08:58
Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I'll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon. Big thanks for the useful info
i read a considerable measure of stuff and i found that the method for composing to clearifing that precisely need to say was great so i am inspired and ilike to come back again in future..
I want you to thank for your time of this wonderful read!!! I definately enjoy every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff of your blog a must read blog!
I’m getting excited about this kind of beneficial information of your stuff in the future.
This is an informative post review. I am so pleased to get this post article and nice information. Thanks for sharing with us.
Escorts in Delhi
28 Feb, 2019 | 01:06
I personally like your post; you have shared good insights and experiences. Keep it up.
home inspections winnipeg
23 Feb, 2019 | 10:16
warming and electrical frameworks! Henceforth, we can say thatHealth Fitness Articles,
http://www.wireonelogin.com/
23 Feb, 2019 | 08:30
While a couple of these might work, the outcomes could never be changeless regardless of how hard you attempt.
http://www.liteblue-login.org/
23 Feb, 2019 | 08:00
Representatives dependability when turning up for work is basic for any business.
Call Girls in Chennai
23 Feb, 2019 | 01:51
I am happy to be here on this website and i was getting bored and then i have got many things from this article.You did such a great job.
jamones de calidad
14 Feb, 2019 | 04:19
search for sacks from trustworthy organizations that make utilization of this smooth leatherPsychology Articles,
get custom programming created by a rumored custom programming specialist organization in market.
voyance au feminin
10 Feb, 2019 | 04:15
The first phase the preparation should, theoretically, be uninfluenced by the intended intensity and duration of the sound which is subsequently produced. In fact, however, so quickly are the three phases accomplished that the pianist rarely has capacity to think, in performance, of each phase separately.
windows xp iso download
06 Feb, 2019 | 05:22
Interesting post. I Have Been wondering about this issue. so thanks for posting. Pretty cool post.It 's really very nice and Useful post.Thanks
While that is totally reasonable, has he really disclosed to you this or is it exactly what you are inferring dependent on his conduct.
Very interesting blog. A lot of blogs I see these days don't really provide anything that I'm interested in, but I'm most definitely interested in this one. Just thought that I would post and let you know
buy a bride online
27 Jan, 2019 | 06:50
Very interesting blog. A lot of blogs I see these days don't really provide anything that I'm interested in, but I'm most definitely interested in this one. Just thought that I would post and let you know
Good Information and is very useful.
scary maze game unblocked
18 Jan, 2019 | 02:19
Sometimes I just think that people write and dont really have much to say. Not so here. You definitely have something to say and you say it with style, my man!
fotos de amor
10 Jan, 2019 | 03:59
I am always searching online for articles that can help me. There is obviously a lot to know about this. I think you made some good points in Features also. Keep working, great job!
groupe sanguin AB
10 Jan, 2019 | 03:58
Thanks for sharing nice information with us. I like your post and all you share with us is up to date and quite informative, I would like to bookmark the page so I can come here again to read you, as you have done a wonderful job.Thanks for sharing nice information with us. I like your post and all you share with us is up to date and quite informative, I would like to bookmark the page so I can come here again to read you, as you have done a wonderful job.
Discord servers
10 Jan, 2019 | 00:04
Discord servers also has several text chat channels as well as personal messages between users. This is great when you can not or do not want to use voice communication channels to chat.
tank trouble
02 Jan, 2019 | 05:24
‘I am not a cholita because it is a diminutive term, on a small scale,’ she says. Even though, the word ‘chola’ is largely considered a discriminatory term, Málaga has ‘worked hard to shape this word.’
Shareit uTorrent Pro youtube go
24 Dec, 2018 | 07:38
Thanks for sharing Informisan about these also.
great insight i love it.
lawn care company columbia
03 Dec, 2018 | 11:18
I love how you express your thoughts here especially by sharing what Diana Malaga is to us.

Make a comment