Brazil: the first two transgender women in Congress

Just a week after the Italian election result, ə brasilianə elected the Congress More conservative national since the establishment of democracy in 1988.

The Partido Liberal, led by current president Jair Bolsonaro, he grabbed 99 out of 513 seats in the chamber of deputies, despite the leader only finishing second in the presidential race, behind former head of state Inácio Lula da Silva.

Although the Brazilian political scene is still firmly in the hands of straight / cis white men (according to the newspaper Folha de São Paulo 60% of the elect are white men and 52% women), these elections have seen a record of nominations from black people, indigenous people, LGBTQIA + and women.

For the first time in the history of the country 2 trans women were elected to the Chamber of Deputies. I’m Erika Hilton, with the Partido Socialism and Liberdade for the State of São Paulo, and Duda Salabert, with Partido Democratico dos Trabalhadores for the State of Minas Gerais.

An important result for Brazil which in 2021 – explains a research byObservatório de Mortes Violentas de LGBTI + no Brasil – was reconfirmed for the thirteenth consecutive year as the Country that kills the most trans people in the world.

For Salabert this is a victory of human rights. “We are part of a country in which 90% of trans and transvestite people work in prostitution – he said – This clearly shows that we have never been an object of interest in public policies, neither from the left, nor from the right, nor from the center. . Having achieved this victory means expanding democracy ».

Already elected as a municipal councilor in Belo Horizonte in 2020, Duda Salabert has undergone numerous intimidation and threats. The latest, of unprecedented violence, just a few days before the elections, so much so that she had to go to the polling station wearing a bulletproof vest. However, this did not stop her and she said she was grateful for the confidence of the elector.

Her main goals as a federal deputy will be carry on the environmental struggle who had already started in the city council (his entire election campaign was conducted without the use of paper), eliminate taxes from menstrual hygiene productsfavor the urban mobility and ensure the protection for victims of domestic violence.

For Erika Hilton too, the priorities are all focused on human rights and culture. Hilton had already passed an important milestone in 2020 by becoming the first black trans woman to enter the Municipal Chamber of São Paulo and during her tenure she had managed to pass the creation of an investigative commission on violence against trans and transvestite people.

His main concerns about the federal mandate, which begins in 2023, are there visibility of black people, LGBTQIA +, indigenous peoples and people with disabilities, the rights of the workerə and deə unemployedəi human rights and those socio-environmental.

The point that is particularly important to her is that of health, and she has promised that she will fight for one free national health system (currently in Brazil there is a system based on insurance, as in the USA) and for the creation of public policies in favor of the LGBTQIA + community, with the collection of data on living and health conditions and a program to combat homolesbobitransphobic violence .

An extremely heterogeneous parliament, therefore, the one that the future president will find, whose name will be revealed after October 30, when Bolsonaro and Lula will compete for the final ballot. On the one hand, a block of conservative forces, from the high points of progressivism and inclusiveness that rivals the most consolidated democracies. The hope is that ə minority parliamentarians will find space to work, bring about the necessary change and – quoting a slogan used in the election campaign by Erika Hilton – “trans-form politics”!

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro as he left Complexo Brasil 21 in November 2021, after joining the Liberal Party for the 2022 elections

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Brazil: the first two transgender women in Congress