As a younger dude, Argentina’s transgender community stood out to me because they would frequent the same clubs as the straight and gay …and not stand out. They might have tended to be a tad taller and a few years older than the coked up kids bouncing around the dance floor but there was no real substantive balkanization along gender lines. Buenos Aires nightlife was more or less democratized and the porteños -who can be so damn neurotic in so many other walks of life- seemed to form a kind of socially libertarian zeitgeist when it came to gender politics. That street level sense of equality has now percolated through the Argentine political apparatus and landed in the Casa Rosada. The pending legislation doesn’t just grant marriage rights to transgender citizens, it’s a comprehensive bill that includes medical coverage for procedures ranging from plastic surgery to hormone therapy. Images of the drug trade, cacerolazos, and Kristina’s [Pyrrhic] victory over Repsol make it easy to forget that economics aren’t the only benchmarks for progress and begs the question as to who’s really stuck in the third world. Right about now, shit’s looking pretty medieval on this side of the frontera.