Thousands of people turned out to watch the wedding of a trans woman and her long time boyfriend in Brazil.
Erica, 54, and Jorge, 49, are a beloved, well-known couple in the small city of Franco da Rocha. The couple work as scavengers, carting 400kgs (881lbs) of recyclable garbage in Brazil’s south-east.
Local NGO, Instituto Nice and the city’s municipality decided to throw the impovrished couple the lavish wedding. The wedding ceremony marked the opening of the city’s second Pride parade.
Getting married had always been Erica’s dream, who up until recently didn’t know she could update her gender markers on her birth certificate without having gender affirming surgery.
Instituto Nice’s president, Valéria Rodrigues, said the whole city knows the couple. But Rodrigues only managed to chat to Erica in April this year.
‘I asked, “What is your dream?”. She said: “My dream is to marry because I feel that I will not last long and I am afraid my partner will be helpless”,’ Rodrigues told E+.
The NGO helped Erica update her gender markers on her official documents. The town registry then gifted the couple their wedding licence with Erica’s real name on it.
Erica and Jorge work hard in the physically demanding scavenging work which earns them a measly 45 reals (US$12) per day. It’s often only enough to cover rent and they sometimes go without food.
But their town decided to throw them a lavish wedding, which included a makeover, bridal outfits and a luxury care even chauffeured Erica to her red carpet entrance. Professional photographers and videographers offered their services to capture the couple’s magic wedding.
The couple married on Sunday (22 July) with Erica unable to stop crying after being treated like a princess.
‘This is giving me life,’ Erica said on the day.