With the “We transform” project, GPTRANS intends to elaborate educational material — cards, folders — and to hold workshops on human rights and gender identity, meant for workers at the three male prisons in Teresina, Piauí.
The group will also hold visits of family and friends for transvestite and transsexual prisoners, seeking greater awareness through dissemination of information on related issues and gender identity. Public representatives in public safety will also be targeted. The idea is to secure partnerships that strengthen prisoners’ access to their rights and basic services.
According to research done by GPTRANS, there are currently more than sixty transvestites and transsexuals in the Teresina penitentiary system. The biggest problem they face is disrespect of their gender identity, both by public agents and other inmates.
The penitentiary system treats transvestites and transsexuals with complete disregard for their identities, with aggression common from the start. One example is the cutting of inmates’ hair and often being forced to use men’s clothing. The group adds that reconditioning activities don’t take their needs into account. The offered courses ignore their affinities for professions considered “feminine.”
The difference in treatment, when it occurs, deprives them of their rights. Even when they have companions, these inmates cannot receive conjugal visits, a right held by all heterosexual inmates. Furthermore, these inmates are often the victims of sexual abuse, which also increase the risk of infection of STDs/HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis.
Though these violations are recurrent, discussions about them are rare, and consequently, so are effort to mitigate them.
The group’s principal mission is mobilizing transvestites and transsexuals in Piauí to defend their human rights, with an emphasis on respect for gender identity. With this objective, they have held the following events: “Trans Visibility Day”; the “Piauí Statewide Encounter of Transvestites and Transsexuals”; and “Prevention of STDs/AIDS and citizenship of Ladies of the Night.”
Together with other organizations in Piauí, GPTRANS worked for the approval of state laws such as the State Day of Pride to be LGBT and for the usage of one’s social name for transvestites and transsexuals; for the expedition of social identity cards, through the Human Rights Unit of the Secretary of Social Security and Citizenship; and for the realization of the Combating Homophobia Campaign, through the Statewide STD/AIDS Coordination.
The NGO also participates in activities proposed by its partners, such as the Mirindiba Collective, Matrizes Group, Angels Group, among others. And it makes up part of the forums Trans NGOs of Piauí (APTTRA), LGBT of Piauí and AIDS/PI NGO; the National Network of Tranvestites and Transsexuals (ANTRA); and the State Secretary of Health Work Group.
Annual Call for Proposals
Right to free sexual orientation and gender identity