On April 13, we all celebrated the fact that the Portuguese Parliament passed a ground-breaking law that allowed transgender people to identify with their actual name and gender without going through medical or legal procedures.
This new law recognised the fundamental rights of trans people as recommended by the resolution on ‘Discrimination against transgender people in Europe’ adopted by Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly and in line with existing legislation in countries such as Norway, Malta , Denmark and Ireland.
109 members of Parliament voted for it, after hearing directly from trans people, their parents and families, LGBTQ activists and experts.
The law could have changed the lives of countless people in Portugal, but was vetoed by President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa.
The Portuguese Parliament has the power to overturn this veto, but a majority of 116 deputies is needed. This means that seven MPs who abstained or voted against the law have to change their minds.
To achieve this goal, global LGBTQ rights group All Out, in partnership with TransMissão: Associação Trans e Não-Binária and Transgender Europe, has launched a campaign that elevates the voice of one of the many young trans people in Portugal who are harmed by this veto.
Tiago is a 17-year-old trans boy who faces a daily reality of constant embarrassment and pain. He cannot change his name and constantly has to deal with the struggle of explaining why he appears to be a different person than he is on his official papers.
He has been lucky enough to make it this far, but many young trans people are not and end up depressed, homeless or succumb to suicide. This veto makes things much harder for them.
“We need better, we deserve better.” This is what Tiago told us when he wrote to us. I echo his call for young trans people to be trusted to know who they are.
Please, stand with Tiago and sign his petition to help overturn the President’s veto and change the lives of trans people in Portugal.