At least 50 transgendered candidates have registered to participate in Brazil's October general elections. Although candidates may be removed for not fulfilling requirements outlined by the Electoral Justice Court, the current number, 53, is ten times more than the previous general elections in 2014.
According to the National Association of Transvestites and Transexuals, or Antra, there are 17 trans-candidates running for national congressional seats, 33 for state congress, two for district Congress and one for the Senate.
The Socialism and Liberty Party, or PSOL, boasts of the largest number of trans-candidates, with a total of 20, running for office this year. The Workers' Party and the Communist Party of Brazil both have five.
Running for a seat in the federal district's legislative chamber is Paula Bennett, one of the candidates who was able to legally change her name. She highlighted the importance of authorities recognizing her current name in the elections as a way to ensure respect to the gender identity of trans people.
"The electoral justice also affords respect to gender identity in terms of quotas for women. The partisan fund allocates 30 percent of its resources to females, hence, transwomen also benefit from the fund," Bennett said.
Bennett added she has eight priority projects she aims to pursue if elected. One includes the establishment of a shelter for homeless people of the LGBT community, as well as an employment agency.
Another candidate, Duda Salabert, said she doesn't want debates around her senatorial campaign in the state of Minas Gerias to revolve solely around the issue of transwomen.
"The main agenda of my candidacy is education as I've been a teacher for 18 years. I defend public education, public universities, research and I also propose debt forgiveness for unemployed students. Investments in education are investments in the fight against LGBT-phobia."