Explaining Brazil Podcast #18: LGBTQ inclusion in Brazil

When the media talks about LGBTQ rights in Brazil, the focus is usually on violence rates. Brazil, after all, has arguably the highest murder rate against these populations, with approximately one LGBTQ person being killed every day.

For this week’s podcast, however, we want instead to shed light on initiatives that fight for the social inclusion of gays, lesbians, and trans individuals. Explaining Brazil hosts Paolo Capistrano, an English teacher who founded English to Trans-form, which helps trans people to improve their skills for the workplace, trying to curb the segregation so often imposed by society.

According to NGOs, the lack of access to the job market pushes about 90 percent of trans people in Brazil to prostitution, in order to make ends meet.

Initiatives to help LGBTQ people

English to Trans-form operates in Casa 1, Brazil’s first co-op shelter for LGBTQ people in positions of social vulnerability. Casa 1 is located in São Paulo’s city center and operates as a cultural center and a dorm-style living space that fits up to 20 people. To live in Casa 1, you must be over 18 and face domestic or psychological violence for identifying as LGBTQ.

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On this podcast

Gustavo Ribeiro has extensive experience covering Brazilian politics. His work has been featured across Brazilian and French media outlets, including Veja, Época, Folha de São Paulo, Médiapart and Radio France Internationale. He is the recipient of multiple awards, including the Abril Prize for outstanding political journalism. He holds a master’s degree in Political Science and Latin American studies from Panthéon-Sorbonne University in Paris.

Paolo Capistrano is an English teacher and founder of the “English to Trans-form” initiative, which offers free English courses to LGBTQ people. If you want to know more about the project – and about Casa 1 – visit their Facebook profile page. If you are interested in working as a volunteer, you can email Mr. Capistrano directly: [email protected]

This podcast was produced by Maria Martha Bruno. She is a journalist with 14 years of experience in politics, arts, and breaking news. She has collaborated with Al Jazeera, NBC, and CNN, among others, and worked as an international correspondent in Buenos Aires.

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