If elected, Samara Braga would become Brazil’s first transgender mayor.
Samara Diamond Fonseca Braga, 32, pre-candidate to Alagoinhas Prefecture with the PSOL (Partido Socialismo e Liberdade – Socialism and Freedom Party), has lived in Alagoinhas for 10 years and believes that her claim could help the debate on the future of the municipality.
” You’ll have a black trans woman *, and periferica na política sim!!” Braga wrote announcing her selction. “According to the decision of the collective sisat-Alagoinhas, I was chosen as pre-candidate for mayor of alagoinhas. A fact totally unheard of in the history not only of alagoinhas, but of Brazil, for the first time, a woman trans *, you can run to city hall. It shows the commitment of the sisat in favour of flags of minorities. I Samara a woman, trans *, Black, of the periphery, I come to represent a true revolution by giving voice to the most vulnerable sections of society. Blacks, lgbti+, women, practitioners of religions of African Matrix, Brazilian quilombola communities, indigenous, rural workers and all the other minorities of society. All these people deserve to be heard and their demands promptly answered. The politician’s official of the people and not the other way around. It is my duty, if you get to the city of alagoinhas, listen to the popular demands and do the impossible for all answered. Enough of policies geared only for the elite snow! Enough of governments who work only in the interests of the banks and big business. It’s time for the working people, of the city and the field, take back the power they outside once usurped. Rule by the people and with the people! That is the true democracy”
Samara Braga identifies as a heterosexual transgender woman, sees no need for sex reassignment surgery and has a stable relationship with her husband for ten years.
She tells that the way to came out as a woman was not easy, starting with family reactions, social prejudices, and even personal self-assertion. Today, she says, (coming out) is not a problem that prevents her from moving forward seeking individual happiness and collective ways to improve society.
PSOL membership happened in early 2015. Samara justifies her entry into politics because of fatigue and concrete experience of seeing the suffering of minorities, which, in her view, don’t have in Alagoinhas public policies for their most urgent needs.
Transgender people, according to Samara, can not be circumscribed to a prostitution environment and need to qualify professionally. Her candidacy has the objective of discussing this issue, which affects her directly, but will not be restricted to issues of the LGBT community. “Blacks and maroons, who have a strong presence in Alagoinhas, as well as other minority segments, will have social inclusion projects in our government’s program,” she adds.
The pre-candidate sites as relevant public action the Transcidadania, created by Mayor Fernando Haddad’s administration and directed to São Paulo’s trans population. Basically, the project professionally empowers stakeholders, provides medical care and forwards for jobs transgender people. “Thus, prostitution is no longer compulsory because job opportunities are offered,” she points out.
Samara points out that in both mayor Paulo Cezar’s (PDT – Partido Democrático Trabalhista – Democratic Workers Party) previous administrations, consistent public policies were not established for transgenders in Alagoinhas. “The municipal government must be at the forefront of this issue, which is contemporary, in order to offer alternatives without paternalism”, claims the pre-candidate, adding that “health care is a priority unmet by the current administration of the municipality”.
Without monitoring, self-medication is an almost absolute rule in the trans community.
She considers that the III Territorial LGBT Conference on Wednesday (16), in the City Council, will be timely and an important time for discussion of issues that impact on the lives of transgender people.
Considering education as a nation’s training base, Samara believes that appreciation of teachers, improving physical conditions of schools and implementation of new curricula are alternatives to improve teaching practice. “The twentieth-century education can not be admitted in the XXI century”, she says.
The deployment in municipal schools of full-time education is another goal of the pre-candidate.
The maroon community, present in Alagoinhas, will be contemplated in Samara’s projects for cultural development, social inclusion and professional qualification. “We can not agree with the invisibility of segments that make up the alagoinhense society and it is necessary that they have a saying in the construction of public policies under the responsibility of the municipal government,” she argues.
Urban mobility is another important issue for the pre-candidate of the PSOL. For her, Alagoinhas need action in this area, focusing on the bike paths at the expense of pollutant transport, which impacts the quality of life.
Another of Samara’s concerns is the environment, especially lakes and rivers, which are in a state of degradation. “The recent development of Alagoinhas is linked to water and therefore we need to act to preserve our watersheds,” she believes.
Other issues will be included in her future government’s program.
Despite the conservatism of alagoas society, Samara evaluated as very positive the receptivity to hr possible application to the Executive. “Backups are above what I expected,” she says.
She adds she’s the first transgender to be a majoritarian candidate at the municipal level in Brazil.