Earlier this year, Brazil passed radical legislation allowing trans individuals to use their social names –the names which they are known by, rather than those on their birth certificates – on identity cards without first undergoing gender reassignment surgery. The move, which came after concentrated mobilization efforts from the trans community, has been widely praised. “This was a huge advance for the LGBTQ population that we were able to make in the Supreme Court,” said Dr. Gisele Alessandra Schmidt e Silva, a member of the Brazilian Lawyers’ Association’s sexual and gender diversity commission and a recent speaker at Brazil Conference at Harvard & MIT.
Schmidt, who was the first transsexual in Brazilian history to give a speech in the Supreme Court, lobbied hard to introduce the social name legislation. “It’s important exactly because it will mean avoiding the discomfort that invariably ends up violating a person’s dignity,” she explained to The Brazilian Report.