Andrés Manuel López Obrador
Andrés Manuel López Obrador AFP

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador made an apology on Tuesday for calling a transgender representative of his political party, Salma Luevano, a "man dressed as a woman."

López Obrador made the controversial remark over the weekend when he met with Luevano, one of the first transgender people to become a federal lawmaker, at a public event during which the president greeted the lawmaker with a kiss on the cheek.

When questioned why he greeted Luevano with a kiss, López Obrador responded by saying Luevano was a "man dressed as a woman."

However, the president offered an apology days later.

"I want to... offer an apology to a colleague who identifies as a woman," López Obrador said during a press conference, as per Reuters.

"Yesterday I spoke about being a man dressed as a woman. I am very respectful and I believe in freedom, and people should assume anyone as is identified," he added, according to Pink News.

The apology came soon after the president faced backlash from social media and various LGBT+ community members in Mexico demanded a public apology from López Obrador for misgendering Luevano.

After the apology was made, Luevano took to social media platform X to share a clip from the conference.

"Today, President López Obrador offered an apology for misgendering me," she wrote in the caption. "This statement is very important, because it makes visible a fight that has taken us decades. I am a woman... and that is not up for discussion."

In a separate post, Luevano slammed journalist Joaquín López-Dóriga, who shared the video of the president greeting the lawmaker with a kiss on the cheek on social media, for allegedly overanalyzing the entire scenario.

"From what I see in your case @lopezdoriga your STUPID IGNORANCE and filthy brain make you believe that everyone is of your condition. PHOBIAS reflect fear and insecurity, DON'T FORGET," she posted.

Obrador's administration, which started in 2018, made history in May 2023 by issuing its first passports with a non-binary gender option. Foreign minister Marcelo Brared said at that time, "We endorse our support for sexual diversity. All rights must be guaranteed for all identities. No more hate speech — diversity enriches and flourishes."

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