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Brazil elects two openly trans women to congress for first time in history

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Brazil has elected its first two openly transgender women, Erika Hilton and Duda Salabert, to congress in a historic vote on 2 October.

Both have promised to fight for LGBTQ+ rights after easily winning a place in the chamber of deputies. “We are going to get off the street corners, we are going to get out of jails, we are going to get off crack corners and prostitution and start to think about public policies and legislation,” Hilton, a Black trans woman, said after the outcome was announced. “Our mandate in Brasília will be more organised, more committed and closer to people. “Maybe we can’t celebrate the way we wanted to and deserved to – but we can celebrate changes in congress and we will shed blood so that in the second round we can really celebrate.” In 2020, Hilton made history as the first-ever trans councillor elected to the Municipal Chamber of São Paulo.

She will now be joined in congress by Salabert, founder of the anti-transphobia organisation Transvest, who became the first out trans person elected to Belo Horizonte’s city council two years ago. “Being in politics is a way of fighting for a better world for my three-year-old daughter,” she explained to Estado de Minas earlier this year.

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