From mistakes in the social name to the lack of toilets, trans scientists report obstacles in academic life – 01/28/2021 – Science

For most Brazilians taking a bachelor’s or diploma course, getting a certificate for a course or attending a scientific congress seems trivial, but for the transpopulation active in Brazilian science, the law can be humiliating.

This is because although many of the registration and registration systems, even though they use the social name in their personal and professional circles, still ask for the civil registration name with no option to change.

The law contradicts the decision approved by the Ministry of Education in 2018 authorizing the use of the social name in enrollment in educational institutions in the country while the person awaits the name correction.

But even with the correction, academic productions can bear the old name forever. “It’s very inconvenient to have [currículo] Latte several articles with my ‘dead name’ and recent productions with my official name, not to mention the confusion this creates for those who don’t know me, “explains Lucy Souza, 29, paleontologist, trans woman and YouTuber.

Lucy made the transition in her final year of PhD in 2019 when she was developing her dissertation on the evolution of fossil crocodiles at the National Museum of Rio de Janeiro. In addition to the inconveniences of bibliographic production associated with her civil name, she says she had a delicate position on her Defense Committee when people who were at the event called her by her old name multiple times, including using the Masculine pronouns.

This is not about details. Recognition through social names is a right for everyone and also implies respect and acceptance, especially in an environment in which transrepresentativity is still low.

There are no official data on how many transsexual and transvestite scholars there are in Brazil. In the report, the CNPq (the country’s main science promoting body affiliated with the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation) was contacted to find out how many resumes registered on the Lattes platform use the social name and the panel responded only the publication of this text.

Capes and the Department of Education also did not say how many transgender or graduate students are enrolled in educational institutions in the country.

However, the number of male and female teachers in universities and public institutions is increasing. As of 2017, undergraduate and graduate degrees in the country, the main gateway to academic careers, began setting quotas for LGBT students.

In 2019, around 19% of federal universities had quotas of this type, but the number of students declared as trans men or trans women was still very low at only 0.1% each.

The number of research groups dealing with the transuniverse is even smaller. Of the more than 37,000 research groups registered in the CNPq directory, only seven deal with studies on gender and transsexuality, including NuCus, the UFBA (Universidade Federal of Bahia) core research and expansion in cultures, genders and sexualities. . The group, which was founded in 2007, was expanded in 2018 and now has more than 60 master’s and doctoral students as well as 17 researchers who are dedicated to queer studies.

One such researcher is Ian Habib, a performer, writer and transgender teacher. After studying theater, Ian is developing his master’s project in dance at UFBA to connect art with the debate about daily and institutional violence with the trans community.

The idea of ​​the Transforcher as a knowledge trainer rather than an object of scientific study has been cemented mainly through the establishment of research and debate groups in society.

“Our occupation of spaces is political and transformative. We have historically been the subject of experiments in medicine and are the subject of study to this day. When there is a trans person in these rooms who is graduating as a researcher, things start to change, ”explains transbiologist Murillo Medeiros, 25, a master’s student in the UFBA’s ecology program, who seeks to understand how agricultural communities use the land and what methods are used for cultivation.

Murillo admits that when he entered academic life he had privileges, largely due to his color, whiteness, and social makeup, which enabled him to study in private schools. When he entered the biology course in 2014, the transition process began. “I was the first openly transgender person to take this room and college gave me a lot of interesting discussions. But I know that we still have a lot to make progress socially. Brazil is the country where most of the transgender people are killed, and many of these people are marginalized and don’t even get a formal job. How can they stay in the university? “

Although access to the university is important, it is the guidelines adopted in the university environment that ensure continuous access to these rooms. “Quotas are essential, but they are not enough if research and persistence policies are not supported. The transgender, transvestite and non-binary presence in universities is already a reality today, but is still reserved for a very small part of this population, ”says Habib.

The trans-scientist’s involvement also includes measures such as building toilets for different genres, which can be seen at universities from 2017.

“There are many difficulties in the research environment and they work together because they are part of the same ‘system’ that is a cisgender system. Disregard for the social name, violence in bathrooms, phone calls, anything that devalues ​​trans knowledge are obstacles that still have to be overcome, ”he says.

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