By Wesley Lima*
From the MST webpage
On July 24 and 31, from 2 pm to 5:30 pm, Via Campesina -Brazil will hold the 1st Seminar of LGBTI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transvestite, Transgender, Transsexual and intersex people) of Via Campesina -Brazil. The space will be virtual, via Zoom, and will count with the participation of LGBT people from the countryside, waters and forests from all over the country.
In order to reflect on the challenges of the struggle for territory, land and food sovereignty, the activity aims to carry out a common reading of the current situation and its impacts on LGBTI women’s lives.
Via Campesina is an international peasant organization made up by popular movements and organizations. The organization aims to articulate the processes of social mobilization of the people at an international level. With this first seminar is no different, the initial proposal is that this space can accumulate for consolidation of the debate on sexual and gender diversity within the movements and organizations that make up the Via in Brazil.
About this debate, Dê Silva, from the Via Campesina -Brazil’s LGTBI Collective, said that this discussion gives visibility to subjects that have historically been invisibilized in the countryside, in the waters and in the forests. For her: “to debate this issue is to reaffirm the popular character of our organizations and of La Via Campesina, demystifying this idea of the countryside being mostly male and cis. We know that the countryside has historically been diverse. LGBT people and women were not seen in the process of dealing with the land and in the process of struggle for land”.
“It is important that Via Campesina hold this seminar to reaffirm the rights of each subject and each subject that makes up the ranks of our organizations and our struggles. This theme is related to the struggle of our movements, because our movements are popular, are of struggle and come to strengthen our character. Reaffirming also our commitment to the class struggle, to the democratisation of the countryside and the land, and also reaffirming that our movements are committed to human diversity. We are committed to building this new society. And that this new society needs to be based on respect, respect for diversity,” explains Dê.
During the two days, the following themes will be discussed: “Analysis of the Political Environment and the challenges in this period of pandemics”; “Sexual and gender diversity and class struggles in the countryside, in the Waters and in the Forests”; “The challenges of sexual and gender diversity in the international movement of La Via Campesina” and the “Challenges of the LGBTI agenda in the national and international La Via Campesina”.
The themes will be mediated by militants from the organizations that make up the LGBTI Collective of La Via Campesina-Brazil, leaders of various grassroots movements of La Via, guests from the LGBTQIA+ Movement, such as the president of the Brazilian Association of Gays, Lesbians, Transvestites and Transsexuals (ABGLT) Symmy Larrat, and members of La Via Campesina International.
In addition to Portuguese, the Seminar will be translated into English and Spanish.
*Wesley is a journalist, member of the Via Campesina-Brasil LGBTI Collective and of the Communication Sector of the MST
** Edited by Solange Engelmann