Due to the larger representation of trans people in this edition of ILGA-LAC, there was a greater exchange of experiences, and more effective integration amongst activists working in movements representing travestis, trans and intersex people. According to Brazilian travesti activist Fernanda Benvenutty, the trans pre-conference was an important step because it facilitated the undoing of an erroneous image of the way in which Brazilian trans activists mobilise, “and we have a way to approach moreso the Latino-Americanas and the policies that they are developing – that’s the most important thing; it’s not just to get to know people, but also the policies that are being developed, the people that are developing or searching to develop these policies”, she added.
Another highlight for trans people in this edition of the conference, was the possibility of discussing, at various opportunities, statutory questions. According to Argentinean trans activist Diana Sacayán, the trans movement demands again that the ‘T’ be represented in the name of ILGA since, following her, what is not named is not visible. “The name is what identifies us. More than this, the name for us travestis and transexuals, it is a theme of major relevance”, she added.
Mauro Cabral, intersex, transexual and homosexual argentinean activist, offered the view that trans men are managing to become more visible now, managing at least, to put their questions on the trans movement agenda. However, it is still difficult to introduce discussions about sexual diversity, there is an assumption that trans people are automatically heterosexual. Moreover, Cabral argued, as much for trans issues as in discussions about intersexuality, bodily diversity (diversidade corporal) continues to be a theme needing more debate: “It was a very interesting experience being at this conference, being someone with my body, and seeing how bodily diversity is dealt with. Even in gay/trans conferences, it’s been a long time that I haven’t met with a lot of people asking me when I’m going to operate. It’s very strong”, he concluded.
Diana Sacayán also called attention to the positioning of Brazilian trans activists in relation to trans groups from other countries in Latin America. While in the continent in general trans activists tend to collaborate more with feminists, and take up a feminist platform, the Brazilians are going in the opposite direction, of disconnection from feminist discourse and, in consequence, from the political alliances which go along with it. “There are different points of view, but it calls my attention, above all taking into account that our interests, that of feminism and that of the trans movement, are very related. Our fight is against machismo and against patriarchy”.
On the other hand, the activist Fernanda Benvenutty, proposed a different analysis. According to her, there was a misunderstanding, in great part owing to the lack of spanish fluency amongst the brazilians, who didn’t comprehend what was really being discussed. “At one point, the brazilian girls thought that the Latin-Americans were wanting to impose an international condition and marked the position that Brazil already has a definition of platforms of travestis and trans people fights”. She called attention to the fact that feminist and trans interests were being very similar in many respects. “Could it be that transexuals and travestis who are not being contemplated, don’t suffer prejudice in the same way? And the question of reproductive rights? Is it that transexuals don’t want to have children? I believe that social movements must dialogue with other movements, principally with those that have similar or equal platforms, given that in some ways the platforms of feminist women are equal to those of the travesti and transexual struggle”, concluded the activist.