Leonardo Oliveira, 22, and Arielly Germano, a 20-year-old trans-couple, when their daughter Maria Danda was born, turned one month old on Tuesday (24/5) after the Unified Health System monitored her pregnancy. (SUS). “We were very respected. It was the best treatment I could have ever had, ”said his father metropolises.
The family lives in the Jangurussu district, just outside Fortaleza (CE). The birth took place at the hospital of General Dr. César Cals, and the prenatal care was performed at a health center in the municipality near the couple’s home. Although both have reported good experience with SUS, they acknowledge that many people still suffer from transphobia in public and private health care.
“I’ve always heard of problems with SUS treatment in terms of gender and sexuality, but we didn’t experience that during pregnancy. I don’t know if we were lucky or if the professionals were better prepared, ”said Leonardo. “We also felt respect from the people, without comment.”
The couple began dating in August 2018 after meeting on Tinder. At the time, Arielly was 17 and Leonardo was 19. In the app, she was still presenting herself as a male teenager, but they both already had a common goal: to live out all their human essence.
“All in all I was a little boy,” Arielly said, recalling that she had attracted the attention of her partner, who, despite being a woman, always identified as a person of the opposite sex. “I saw myself as a man and I was attracted to men,” said Leonardo, who began the transition at 16, taking hormones without medical care.
As soon as the two began to relate, Leonardo took his “boyfriend” of the hour to introduce him to his parents at home. “The reaction at first was not very good, because my father was a prejudiced person, and Arielly had not yet made the transition, but later he also suggested that he come and live with us. I liked the idea a lot, ”said Maria Dandara’s father.
“It’s always been my dream to be a mom,” Arielly said. Leonardo, however, was still not very convinced of this idea, as he did not want to see her body transformed like that of a woman during pregnancy. I was still confronted, for example, with the image of “growing belly and breasts”.
Leonardo reported that until then, “the idea of having a child was very scary.” “I was afraid of how my body would be, how I would identify, because I didn’t see myself as a woman and I was already in transition. That’s why I was afraid it would be a setback, ”she said, adding that she later wanted to have a daughter.
During court, Arielly decided to begin the transition to a trans woman, taking hormones on her own and feeling more support from her partner. “When we were together, and because of him and our experience, I finally discovered myself as a non-binary transvestite,” Dandara’s mother recalled. Leonardo, on the other hand, felt a blow.
“It was a shock, until then, because I was attracted to more masculine people. I didn’t expect it. When we met, he was a boy, but since I love him so much, I wouldn’t end our relationship because of that. Love speaks very loudly, ”said Leonardo.
The term non-binary refers to the situation of people who do not perceive themselves as members of a single gender. This means that your gender identity and expression is not limited to masculine and feminine. Therefore, they can walk between the two of them or be beyond them, depending on each person.
Both Arielly and Leonardo agree that transgender services should be greatly improved in public and private sex transition networks. The couple believes that the transition process is still “very invasive” because it sometimes has to go through professionals who question their gender identity, rather than understanding it at its core.
“I don’t like to imitate someone’s personality to say I’m trans. This, for me, is not nice and I don’t find it comfortable, ”said Leonardo, who has the same thinking as his friend. “I find it very strange, weird and invasive for a person to say whether I am trans or not,” Arielly said, adding that there are many trans children who are not yet aware of their condition.
They also had to overcome prejudices at home. Today, however, the situation is different. The daughter of a maid and a train mechanic, Arielly was able to introduce Leonardo to her parents. He is also proud to say that he respects his friend, his mother, his housewife, and his father, who is retired.
The couple said they are very dedicated to educating, with love and respect, the daughter named in honor of Leonardo’s mother and Arielly’s mother’s grandmother. Dandara dos Santos is also a symbol of the resistance and memory of the transvestite who was shot dead in Fortaleza on February 15, 2017, after being beaten. Seven people were tried for the crime. Another defendant was killed before the trial.
Now, Leonardo and Arielly also plan to dedicate themselves to raising awareness. The couple has a Tik Tok account with nearly 150,000 followers. “Initially, we received a lot of bad comments, but with the growth of our social network, they were reduced, and now we use filters,” said Leonardo, who works as a call center manager.
“We plan to bring information to people and reach as many people as possible. Our audience is right cis, because we talk to them, we want to bring them information, because a lot of people still don’t have the same awareness that people in the LGBTQIA + community have, ”Arielly said.
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