An Argentinian man has recently been accused of changing both his gender and his name so he could retire at the age of 60, instead of 65. Although he acknowledges the changes, the former man claims he went through with them for personal reasons.
Sergio Lazarovich has become a topic of debate throughout South America, and soon probably the whole world, after he took advantage of his country’s Gender Identity Law to change his name to ‘Sergia’ and register himself as a female, allegedly so he could retire from his job five years earlier. His intentions were made public by a relative of Lazarovich, who contacted Argentinian media, telling reporters that throughout his life Sergio had only been romantically involved with women, and continued to have heterosexual relationships even after applying for the gender change.
“Throughout his life he had many relationships, all with women. The longest relationship was with the mother of his two children. That relationship lasted 20 or 25 years until they got divorced. After the divorce, he had many relationships, but always with women. Some were short, some were long-term, but they were always with women,” Sergio’s relative, who preferred to remain anonymous, told Informate Salta. “At no time did he feel attracted to men and even made many comments throughout his life against gays and transsexuals.”
According to Lazarovich’s relative, his decision to become ‘Sergia’ was fuelled by his conviction that the law stating that women get to retire earlier than men is unfair. He had apparently complained about this to his friends and family many times in the past, and had actually planned to do something about it for some time.
“His conviction is that it is unfair that, because he is a man, he has to work five years more than a woman,” the relative said. “He has been working on this for more than three years , was advised by lawyers and the first plan was to make a complaint to the State citing discrimination. That way, if he won, he would be able to work five years less, but it was an option that could have taken many years and no one could guarantee that the court would rule in his favor.”
Asked why he decided to make Sergia Lazarovich’s alleged motives public, his relative told Informate Salta that he felt he/she was taking advantage of a law meant to protect sexual minorities to reach his petty goal.
“The Gender Identity Law is very good and protects the transgender people. Just because there are people who do not have ethics, does not mean that the law is wrong, it means that people are wrong. They are morally flawed and Sergia is one of those people . He is taking advantage of the law,” the man said. “He is demonstrating that if he can do it, anyone can do it. This is a totally selfish and harmful act. It saddens me to be related to a person capable of stooping so low to get what he wants.”
After news of Sergia Lazarovich’s alleged intentions went viral, the former man put out a public statement accusing the media of lying and advising them to investigate more before releasing such stories. He admits to changing both his name from Sergio to Sergia and his gender from male to female in his ID but claims it was because of personal reasons he does not want to explain.
However, while speaking to El Tribuno about the controversy regarding his motives, Sergia did say that “this would not have been an issue for anyone, if everyone retired at 65,” which suggests that he does take issue with the fact that women get to retire five years earlier.
The head of the Argentinian Civil Registry confirmed that Sergio Lazarovich had legally changed his name and gender, adding that the Gender Identity Law no longer requires surgical or hormonal intervention in order to justify the process.
Sergia Lazarovich has not yet applied for early retirement with the National Administration of Social Security (ANSES), although her anonymous relative claims it is only a matter of time until she does. Ricardo Muller, the regional director of ANSES in Salta, where Lazarovich lives, told reporters that everyone is aware of Sergia’s case from the media, and that if he wore to apply for a pension, his eligibility would be decided by a court. ANSES would initiate the pension process, but it would be up to a court to decide if Sergia actually gets to collect it.