Alexya Salvador is an LGBTI activist and trans woman in Brazil and Latin america. Becoming the first ordained trans reverend in Latin America in 2019. She ran for state representative of Sao Paulo in 2018, campaigning on issues she saw in her own life: Rights for LGBTI individuals, and discrimination in education and adoption. (1)
She uses her presence as a pastor, a public school teacher, and the Vice President of the Brazilian Association of Homotransaffective Families (ABRAFH), to educate and inform others of LGBTI and open respectful dialogue concerning different family formations. Pushing inclusion and acceptance of LGBTI individuals in her congregation and classroom. (2)
Her efforts have led to a broader acceptance of LGBTI people in Sao Paulo and Brazil as a whole, in a country that only just over 55% of the population is accepting of “Homosexual” people. Although between 1980-2020 Brazil has increased its acceptance of LGBTI people more than the global average. (3)
With the US having a similar climate of acceptance to Brazil we should take a page out of Alexya’s book and look at changing the minds of people in a similar way that she does. As a lot of resistance to the acceptance of LGBTI people comes from religious fundamentalism which she directly challenges.
(1) Maryuri Grisales, and Renato Barreto, “‘É Contra Esse Deus Que Mata Que a Gente Luta e Resiste.’” Translated by Barney Whiteoak. Sur. Conecta Human Rights, December 27, 2019. https://sur.conectas.org/en/alexya-salvador-it-is-against-this-god-who-kills-that-we-are-fighting-and-resisting/.
(3) Andrew Flores. “Social Acceptance of LGBTI People in 175 Countries and Locations.” Williams Institute, Williams Institute, November 8, 2021. https://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/publications/global-acceptance-index-lgbt/.