The month of March has seen a drastic legal improvement for trans people in Brazil.
Brazil’s Supreme Court unanimously voted people can update their genders on the civil registry without undergoing gender affirming surgery. There would be no minimum age to make the changes on the registry.
The court also ruled people would not need a medical or psychological evaluation to update their names and gender.
The Prosecutor General’s Office (PGR) file the lawsuit for the changes in 2009.
‘The ruling is a line in the sand that should be celebrated. Up until now, bureaucratic procedures had been on the rise for those who wanted the civil registry to reflect their gender identity and their names,’ Federal Prosecutor Carlos Eduardo Paz told Folha de Sao Paulo.
‘With this ruling, the Supreme Court has signaled a step forward in terms of citizenship.
‘From now on and without further constraints, transgender individuals can demand that the state fully recognize their right to happiness without having to face any kind of prejudice or institutional violence.’
Vote for your trans candidate
Another win came when the Supreme Court ruled trans people running for political office could use their real names on electronic ballots. Trans candidates will be able to identify as their true selves for the first time ever.
It’s an election year in Brazil making the ruling even more significant for the community.
While the recent legal victories are remarkable, there’s still a long way to go to protect trans people.
Brazil has one of the highest rates of violence and murder against trans people in the world. The rate of LGBTI murders in the country has escalated to more than one a day.
In 2018 alone, 35 trans people have already been murdered in Brazil according to ANTRA – the national association of transvestites and transexuals.
ANTRA wants the government to criminalize violence against LGBTI people. It also believes overcoming society’s transphobia will help reduce violence against the community.
‘We believe that even if we had a law approved by the Congress criminalizing acts of violence against LGBT people, we would still have this many deaths, because we live in a country where it is allowed to kill, where religious fanaticism sharpens its knife daily to decimate our community, where the prejudice faced by transgender people starts inside their homes,’ ANTRA president Keila Simpson told the Washington Blade.
‘So it is important to say that for a marginalized community like ours, that comes from having no rights… nothing, being able to decide our name is a lot.
‘But we are yet to conquer our right to safe living.’