Hi there! It’s Adam. I’m currently in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, conducting research for a Global Rights report on the rights of Afro-Brazilian transgender women. Last week, I got to witness history in the making…
|The First National Black LGBT Conference|
Afro-trans women were embraced and honored for their outstanding work as community advocates and leaders in the Afro-Brazilian LGBT community. Afro-trans women are constantly threatened by hate crimes, police abuse, economic exclusion and limited access to public health and educational services. Broadly excluded from society, these fearless Afro-trans women enter battles every single day, simply to be treated as equals that so many of us take for granted.
The facts don’t lie:
- A report by the Federal Human Rights Secretariat which documented nearly 300 anti-LGBT hate crimes in Brazil in 2011, found that 52% of these were targeted against transgender women.
- While we currently lack any specific numbers on the Afro-trans population itself, these figures provide us a grim reminder of the reality they are plagued with. In a most recent example, the first-ever openly transgender Afro-Brazilian elected to public office has continued to receive death threats for the day she is expected to assume her position, January 1st 2013.
Despite these challenges, those attending the conference, like so many of the dedicated activists I have met here in Brazil, never despair.
Adam Frankel*A popular Afro-Brazilian spiritual term meaning force or energy.