Over 50 transgender candidates will be up for election in Brazil’s election, compared to just five in 2014.
The amount of transgender candidates running in Brazil’s general election has increased by over ten times when compared to the last general election in 2014.
Among them is Tifanny Abreu, who is aiming for a seat in Brazil’s lower house, standing for the ruling party the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party. Speaking to the BBC, Abreu, who used to play volleyball professionally, said: “I don’t want my nieces and nephews, or any young people in Brazil, to go through what I went through.
“People like me need to occupy spaces in national politics in order to govern in LGBT people’s interests and also to reverse the stigma about trans people.”
Barbara Aires, another candidate, standing for the Socialism and Liberty Party, told NBC that she was standing to make a difference, saying: “When all you have are rich, white men discussing policies, things will never improve for the majority of people.”
However, despite the increase in trans candidates, the election’s frontrunner is the virulently homophobic Jair Bolsonaro. In the past he has linked homosexuality with paedophilia and has said that he would rather his son be dead than for him to be gay.
And sadly, it was revealed earlier this year that anti-LGBTQ violence has reached a record high in the South American country. Grupo de Bahia reported that there were 387 homocides as a result of homophobia or anti-gay violence last year, indicating a sharp rise in fatalities.
And last September, a Brazilian judge overturned an 18-year ban on gay ‘conversion therapy’.
Waldemar de Carvalho, a federal judge in the capital of Brasília, overturned the 1999 ruling by the Federal Council of Psychology forbidding psychologists from offering treatments that claim to ‘cure’ homosexuality.
Rogério Giannini, president of the Federal Council of Psychology, said in a statement that the judge’s decision “opens the dangerous possibility of the use of sexual reversion therapies” and promised to challenge it legally.
“There is no way to cure what is not a disease,” he said. “It is not a serious academic debate.”