Brazil is globally seeing as a tolerant and liberal country, which has the largest and happiest Gay Pride Parade of the world with more than 3 million people, however the country presents one of the most complex scenario of discrimination, homophobia and transphobia in Latin America. Although the important legal advances on the promotion of LBGT rights in the last decade, as the legalization of marriage, the Brasil sem Homofobia(Brazil without Homophobia) national program, the introduction of the first gay protagonist in a national soap opera and the first male gay kiss on television, Brazil still faces challenges on the full promotion of LBGT rights.
A report from the Human Rights Presidential Secretary shows there is high rates of violence against the LGBT population. The Violencia Homofobica no Brasil (Homophobic Violence in Brazil) Report features data about this strategic issue and only in 2012 9.982 human rights violations complaints were reported, in 2011 (first year of the report) were 6.809 complaints, which shows an increase in the number of cases. The report also demonstrated that this violence is perpetrated, especially against young people (61.16% of the victims are between 15 and 29), men (71.38%), African descents (40.55%) and the majority of the attacks happen at victims’ house (38.63%), being perpetrated by acquaintances, the most frequent by neighbors (20.69%), and family members (17.72%).
The travesties population is the most vulnerable, they are 51.68% of the total of informed complaints, followed by gays (36.79%), lesbians (9.78%), heterosexual and bisexual (1.17% and 0.39% respectively), it is important to mention that there is an underreporting in cases related to transgender people, which is also a reflection of their invisibility and social exclusion.
According to the Transgender Europe Report, Brazil is the number one country on death of transgender people, representing 40% of the global total. The transgender population faces social exclusion, lack of access to education, misogyny and lack of family support, the life expectancy is 30 years old and, they are more vulnerable to violence, poverty and illness as HIV and AIDS, in Brazil, 90% of transgender people live in prostitution and the majority does not complete the elementary school. In 2004 was launched the first national campaign against Transphobia in Brazil, which aims to humanize transgender people and promote their rights.
Another important program was created in 2015 by the Sao Paulo administration to promote formal education, human rights and professional training and health care of transgender women in the city. The Transcidadania (Transcitizenship) program is breaking the cycle of poverty, invisibility and vulnerability that transvestites and transsexuals face in the country.
Brazil currently faces a conversationalist wave, especially linked to religious politicians, whose political agenda is to undermine the recent advances on LGBT rights and sexual and reproductive rights of women (there is a project of law to preclude the access to legal abortion to victims of sexual abuse), the conservators are the majority in the national Congress, that it is being considered the most talkative Congress since 1964, the period of a dictatorship. Another example is legal attempt to define family only as the union of man and woman, the prohibition of emergency contraception and the exclusion of gender, sexual orientation and gender identity taken from municipal and states education plans.
However, social movements are very well connected and well organized in Brazil and there is a firm resistance against these policies and in favor of the promotion of human rights in Brazil. The black movement, the LGBT movement and feminist movements are all together, organizing several protests in some cities against Eduardo Cunha, President of the Chamber of Deputies and the author of some of the retrograde projects of laws. A lot of banners were it was possible to read “My uterus is not the Switzerland to be of your business” and “Cunha, the number one enemy of women,” making allusion to his corruption scandal, were seen around the protests.
The Brazil as well as Latin America, is living a difficult time, however the rights of minorities will be not and cannot be removed.
LGBT rights are human rights! Women’s rights are human rights!