The first transgender minor in the Argentine province of Cordoba has been found dead in “questionable circumstances” at the age of 31.
The body of Celene ‘Nati’ Colantonio was found by her stepfather at her home in the municipality of Mina Clavero in the Argentine province of Cordoba on 22nd March.
The police said she died in “questionable circumstances” and her body will undergo an autopsy to establish the exact cause of death.
Colantonio hit the headlines in 2007 for becoming the first minor in the province to change her identity at the age of 17 following a long legal battle waged by her parents in support of her transition.
Her journey started in 2004 when she was diagnosed with gender dysphoria, a term to describe the unease a person feels towards their biological sex and gender identity.
A year later when she was 14 years old, she decided to fight for her right to transition and became a symbol for trans activism in Argentina.
Her parents publicly supported her battle to undergo gender adjustment treatment and launched legal proceedings so she could officially be allowed to have the operation.
Her case was also endorsed by a doctor and a teacher and the court ruled in her favour.
At first, the court rejected the family’s case, arguing that the irreversible surgery involves the mutilation of a minor and could not be authorised. However, the Supreme Court of Justice authorised the procedure two years later.
She said at the time: “It was less difficult to change my body than my mind. During those years, I remember my parents’ courage as they faced the challenge with me, took care of me, and protected me from bullying.
“It seemed like people were accusing me of something I hadn’t done. There was a lot of pressure.”
The surgery was carried out in the city of La Plata in December 2007 by urologist Cesar Fidalgo and his team. She also underwent other surgeries in Spain over the course of the next few years.
The investigation into her death continues.