Three transgendered female candidates and one transgendered male candidate made history winning their races in Brazil’s general elections last week. This is a feat for the trans community as Brazil is considered one of the deadliest countries for transgendered people.
According to Trans Murder Monitoring, 43% of all trans murders took place in Brazil between October 2019 and September of this year. It doesn’t help that the country is led by transphobic President Jair Bolsonaro. But these elections make way for serious opportunities for change for the trans community.
School Teacher Duda Salabert is the first trans city council person representing the southeastern city of Belo Horizonte, while Linda Brasil of the northeastern city Aracaju is its first trans woman to win a city council seat.
Brasil talked to France24 about her win, and said “It’s historic, and also a very big responsibility because I’m representing a community that has always been excluded.”
Sao Paulo, Brazil’s capital city, also saw historic wins in the trans community. Erika Hilton won her race in the city and received more votes than all of the women in the race. Thammy Miranda won his race in the capital, winning the right-wing Liberal Party.
The Realist Woman’s take:
Last week on November 20th, many commemorated Transgendered Remembrance Day. It’s a day to honor the memory of transgendered people who were murdered due to anti-transgender violence. While this day is a somber one, the results of the elections in Brazil gives hope to those who want to see people more open and tolerant towards the community. I knew about the violence against transgendered people in Brazil because of the news it receives, but I wasn’t aware that 43% of all trans murders in the world happened in the country. Just when I think I’ve heard the most alarming news, this particular information takes it to a whole other level.
I hope these elections are small signs that the tides are turning for the trans community. It doesn’t help that the country’s President is transphobic, very much like the machismo culture in Latin America. But it’s usually the people that influence the culture to be more open and tolerant of things they didn’t consider the norm. These newly elected officials need a chance to show what they can do and I believe the public will be more focused on their policy than their gender. Not that being trans isn’t a factor, as these politicians will now have the platforms to introduce and vote on policy to give trans people equal rights and protections.