TRANSGENDER, SPIRITED AWAY
Over the past months, I have been working as a volunteer with an NGO called Transgrupo Marcela Prado (herein TMP), located in Curitiba, Southern part of Brazil. The NGO supports mainly transgender people – but also LGBT in general – helping with housing, employment, STD tests, the process to change their names, and so on.
On March 2016, together with the Psychology Department of Tuiuti University of Parana and Grupo Dignidade, TMP organised preparatory classes for a national exam Brazilian students take if they had not finished the regular high school and/or to help them get into University. These classes are organised by a project called “Tô Passada”, which means “I have passed” but is also a popular slang used to express surprise or disbelief. Preparation for that exam is promoted as the main reason to join the classes, but the project’s main goal goes beyond that. The idea is to attract people who have been pulled away from the educational system by the social prejudice directed at the LGBT community and to get them to realise that formal concepts and contents discussed in the classroom are not that distant from their realities and that they can resume their studies if they want to.
|Image from the film Spirited Away (2001) by Hayao Miyazaki|
‘God will transform you, cousin…’ – they said.
Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil, October 2016.
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