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The Wave

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The Inspiring Story of Amelio Robles Ávila

The+story+of+Amelio+Robles+%C3%81vilas+life+remains+an+inspiring+tale+for+many+people+in+the+transgender+community.
The story of Amelio Robles Ávila’s life remains an inspiring tale for many people in the transgender community.

Too many historical figures are carelessly overlooked due to our biases against them. Amelio Robles Ávila was an excellent example of someone whose story has been neglected due to people’s bias toward transgender individuals. 

Amelio Robles Ávila was born on November 3, 1889 at Xochipala, Guerrero, Mexico. He was born a female, bearing the name Amelia Robles Ávila. His father, Casimiro Robles, was a wealthy farmer and owned a small distilled beverage factory. When Amelio was young, he took more interest in masculine-leaning activities on the farm, such as taming horses and handling weapons. 

Robles joined the military and began “disguising as a man,” asking to be treated as such. It was common for women who joined the army to disguise themselves as men in order to be taken seriously, and resume back to their everyday lives as women after the war ended. Amelio, however, continued to dress like a man. Of course, this wasn’t taken lightly as a group of men attacked him when he settled in Iguala for a short while after the revolution. The men demanded that he reveal his anatomy, and in self-defense, Robles killed two of the attackers, though it is not clear if Robles served jail time as a result. 

By the age of 24, he was still persistent in being called a man, and threatened to shoot anyone who thought otherwise, depicted in images with his hand on his firearm holder and a cigarette in his other hand. By this time, Robles’ family, the Mexican government, and society largely accepted and recognized him as his desired identity. In the 1930s, he met and later married Ángela Torres in Apipilulco and soon adopted a daughter, Regula Robles Torres. There is not much information about his life past this point, so it’s assumed that he lived a peaceful life following his marriage. Robles died on December 9th, 1984 at the age of 95.

Later, in 1970, the Mexican Secretary of National Defense recognized Robles as a veteran. He received numerous decorations for the Mexican Revolution, the Mexican Legion of Honor, and in 1974, received the Revolutionary Merit award.

Some people want to ignore people like Amelio, wanting to put transgender people in the shadows. However, transgender people like Amelio make their presence known to the world, proving that individuals like him deserve to be in the spotlight and be seen as an influence. 

Amelio’s story shows us the importance of hearing tales of historical transgender figures that people often overlook. What makes Amelio so inspiring is that he did not make himself a man for survival, but he had a strong desire of being and living as a man and did as such. He wasn’t shy about it, inspiring others not to be ashamed of who they are either.

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About the Contributor
Nicole Garcia-Pantoja
Nicole Garcia-Pantoja, Staff Writer
Nicole Garcia-Pantoja is a senior at Marco Island Academy and Staff Writer for The Wave. Nicole likes to draw, talk and hang out with her friends in her spare time.  She loves sweet and savory foods, like ramen, chocolate chip cookies, seafood, and hot chocolate. Nicole plans to do graphic design after high school.
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    sophia lowrieMar 22, 2024 at 10:03 PM

    such an important topic that needs to be discussed, and what a well-written article!!!

    Reply