News (World)

President offers surprising response to rumors of his affair with a trans celebrity

Linda Yepes is a brown-haired Latina trans woman. In this picture, she wears a pink sweatshirt bearing a black print of a blonde woman in sunglasses
Linda Yepes Photo: YouTube screenshot

Colombia’s married President Gustavo Petro has been accused of having an affair with a transgender newscaster. Surprisingly, he hasn’t denied the accusations but instead has criticized people’s transphobic reactions to the rumors.

Petro made headlines due to accusations that, while on a trip to Panama to celebrate the election of the new Panamanian President José Raúl Mulino, he had an affair with trans newscaster Linda Yepes.

“I have always considered that intimacy is the “last level” of freedom, the last trench of being free, and I will preserve this principle until I write about myself or die,” Petro wrote on X. “But these thousands of transphobic messages that have exploded in the hands of a right-wing, deeply exclusive, ignorant and discriminatory society must be rejected by the president.”

The accusation came from a video reported on by the Spanish TV network Telemundo. The video showed a man walking with a woman hand-in-hand with a woman in a blue dress. The man later took a picture of the woman as she posed. Many believe that the man is Petro and the woman is Yepes, but neither has confirmed these allegations.

Petro continued, “Every progressive knows that human beings are equal and that the fight for that equality implies physical and mental emancipation and therefore, no one who considers themselves human can generalize transphobia in weak minds or slavery and discrimination. This action does not express animality but brutality. That’s why they murder those who are different and by the millions. That is why Nazis existed and exist.”

When asked about the accusations on Univision, Yepes said, “I was in Panama. I love Panama. I cannot speak about the details yet.”

Yepes has previously spoken publicly about her transition.

“I kept saying to myself If I am trans, I’m either going to be a hairstylist or a prostitute because those are the only paths society has practically handed to us,” she said, according to The Daily Beast.

Petro has been married to his wife since 2000 and has not previously been accused of having extramarital affairs. He is the first left-wing president of Columbia in recent memory, elected during a tumultuous campaign where the left battled against far-right political forces for victory.

Petro concluded his X post by saying, “I am heterosexual, but you will never hear or read a transphobic word from me. Because not only would he stop being a man, but also human.”

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