Brazil is one of the most dangerous countries in the world for transgender people, but Sunday’s local elections have given LGBTQ activists and allies hope as an unprecedented number of openly transgendered candidates won seats on their local city councils.
- Two transgender candidates, Erika Hilton and Thammy Miranda, were elected to the city council of Sao Paulo, Brazil’s largest city.
- The two were both among the top 10 candidates for the council’s 55 seats to get the most votes, according to AFP.
- On Sunday, Duda Salabert became the first openly transgender person to be elected onto the city council in Belo Horizonte, a city located in the southeast part of the country, AFP reported, when she received more votes than any other candidate.
- The northeastern city of Aracaju also elected its first openly transgender councilwoman, Linda Brasil, who told AFP her win was “historic” because she is “representing a community that has always been excluded.”
- According to Deutsche Welle, a German public broadcaster, the number of openly transgender candidates that ran this year was higher by threefold compared to four years ago, and they ran from a wide range of parties, both conservative and progressive.
- It was the first election in Brazilian history that allowed candidates to run using the name they chose for themselves, not what’s written on their birth certificates.
Brazil is one of the deadliest places to be transgender. In 2019 alone, at least 124 transgender people were murdered, a report found. Mexico, the next most-dangerous nation, had only half that number of reported killings in the same time frame. A September study found the number of reported murders of transgender people in 2020 has already surpassed 2019’s total with 129 deaths. The number of suicides committed by transgender individuals has also increased, the report found. Brazil has made progress in LGBTQ rights over the past few years: in 2019, transphobia and homophobia were criminalized by the country’s highest court.
by Carlie Porterfield
Source – Forbes