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Pictures | Tue Sep 25, 2018 | 9:27pm EDT

Transgender woman runs for Brazil state legislature

Alexya Salvador (L) leads church Mass in Sao Paulo, Brazil August 26, 2018. With a record number of transgender candidates on the ballot in Brazil's upcoming elections; mother, teacher and pastor Alexya Salvador hopes to add one more title to her name, Sao Paulo state congresswoman.

REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker

Alexya Salvador (L) leads church Mass in Sao Paulo, Brazil August 26, 2018. With a record number of transgender candidates on the ballot in Brazil's upcoming elections; mother, teacher and pastor Alexya Salvador hopes to add one more title to her...more

Alexya Salvador (L) leads church Mass in Sao Paulo, Brazil August 26, 2018. With a record number of transgender candidates on the ballot in Brazil's upcoming elections; mother, teacher and pastor Alexya Salvador hopes to add one more title to her name, Sao Paulo state congresswoman. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker
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Alexya Salvador pauses as she attends a campaign rally in Sao Paulo. Though she says she didn't always know she'd run for office, Salvador has always been political in the past, referencing activism for LGBTQ and Afro-Brazilian rights.

REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker

Alexya Salvador pauses as she attends a campaign rally in Sao Paulo. Though she says she didn't always know she'd run for office, Salvador has always been political in the past, referencing activism for LGBTQ and Afro-Brazilian rights. REUTERS/Paulo...more

Alexya Salvador pauses as she attends a campaign rally in Sao Paulo. Though she says she didn't always know she'd run for office, Salvador has always been political in the past, referencing activism for LGBTQ and Afro-Brazilian rights. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker
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Alexya Salvador, her husband Roberto (R), her son Gabriel (L) and her transgender daughter Ana Maria pose for a photograph after speaking to Reuters at their home in Sao Paulo. Salvador said she identified as a gay man until she was about 28 years old, when she says she realized she was transgender.

REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker

Alexya Salvador, her husband Roberto (R), her son Gabriel (L) and her transgender daughter Ana Maria pose for a photograph after speaking to Reuters at their home in Sao Paulo. Salvador said she identified as a gay man until she was about 28 years...more

Alexya Salvador, her husband Roberto (R), her son Gabriel (L) and her transgender daughter Ana Maria pose for a photograph after speaking to Reuters at their home in Sao Paulo. Salvador said she identified as a gay man until she was about 28 years old, when she says she realized she was transgender. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker
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Alexya Salvador attends a campaign rally in Sao Paulo. She said the only issues she had while transitioning from Alexander to Alexya at her school was with adult coworkers, and not the students. "When I transitioned I was professor Alexander who took (medical) leave several times and came back Alexya. And it was fine," she said. "I had problems with school directors, I had issues with coworkers, with people in the kitchen, with people at the front office. I didn't have problems with parents. The problems are in the heads of the adults who have already been educated and were taught to think like that."

REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker

Alexya Salvador attends a campaign rally in Sao Paulo. She said the only issues she had while transitioning from Alexander to Alexya at her school was with adult coworkers, and not the students. "When I transitioned I was professor Alexander who took...more

Alexya Salvador attends a campaign rally in Sao Paulo. She said the only issues she had while transitioning from Alexander to Alexya at her school was with adult coworkers, and not the students. "When I transitioned I was professor Alexander who took (medical) leave several times and came back Alexya. And it was fine," she said. "I had problems with school directors, I had issues with coworkers, with people in the kitchen, with people at the front office. I didn't have problems with parents. The problems are in the heads of the adults who have already been educated and were taught to think like that." REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker
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Alexya Salvador prepares to lead Mass at a church in Sao Paulo. Religious since she was a child, Salvador will now try to win a state congressional seat under the PSOL (Socialism and Liberty Party), a far-left Brazilian political party.

REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker

Alexya Salvador prepares to lead Mass at a church in Sao Paulo. Religious since she was a child, Salvador will now try to win a state congressional seat under the PSOL (Socialism and Liberty Party), a far-left Brazilian political...more

Alexya Salvador prepares to lead Mass at a church in Sao Paulo. Religious since she was a child, Salvador will now try to win a state congressional seat under the PSOL (Socialism and Liberty Party), a far-left Brazilian political party. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker
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Religious statuettes with the colors of the rainbow are seen at the church where Alexya Salvador leads Mass in Sao Paulo. While most pastors, bishops and religious leaders in Brazilian government caucus with the conservative Evangelical Caucus, it is not clear where Salvador, who leads church services at the Metropolitan Community Church in Sao Paulo, would fit in if elected.


REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker

Religious statuettes with the colors of the rainbow are seen at the church where Alexya Salvador leads Mass in Sao Paulo. While most pastors, bishops and religious leaders in Brazilian government caucus with the conservative Evangelical Caucus, it is...more

Religious statuettes with the colors of the rainbow are seen at the church where Alexya Salvador leads Mass in Sao Paulo. While most pastors, bishops and religious leaders in Brazilian government caucus with the conservative Evangelical Caucus, it is not clear where Salvador, who leads church services at the Metropolitan Community Church in Sao Paulo, would fit in if elected. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker
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Alexya Salvador looks at her daughter Ana Maria applying lipstick at their home in Sao Paulo. At home Salvador wears another hat altogether, that of mother, where she cares for her two adopted children, Gabriel, who has special needs and Ana Maria, who identifies as transgender like her mother.


REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker

Alexya Salvador looks at her daughter Ana Maria applying lipstick at their home in Sao Paulo. At home Salvador wears another hat altogether, that of mother, where she cares for her two adopted children, Gabriel, who has special needs and Ana Maria,...more

Alexya Salvador looks at her daughter Ana Maria applying lipstick at their home in Sao Paulo. At home Salvador wears another hat altogether, that of mother, where she cares for her two adopted children, Gabriel, who has special needs and Ana Maria, who identifies as transgender like her mother. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker
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Alexya Salvador (2-L), her husband Roberto (L), her son Gabriel (R) and her daughter Ana Maria pose for a photograph at their home in Sao Paulo. "Ever since I married Roberto we wanted to grow our family. In 2015 we went to a shelter here in Mairipora and we met Gabriel, who was at the shelter," Salvador said. "I ended up the first transgender woman in Brazil to go through the adoption system. I did the whole process to qualify myself. Then in 2016, a judge from Pernambuco (state) read something about me on the Internet in which I said that I wanted to adopt a transgender child. She contacted me saying that that transgender child might be in her region. That's when we adopted Ana Maria who was also 9 at the time and is 11 years old now and who is also a transgender girl."

REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker

Alexya Salvador (2-L), her husband Roberto (L), her son Gabriel (R) and her daughter Ana Maria pose for a photograph at their home in Sao Paulo. "Ever since I married Roberto we wanted to grow our family. In 2015 we went to a shelter here in...more

Alexya Salvador (2-L), her husband Roberto (L), her son Gabriel (R) and her daughter Ana Maria pose for a photograph at their home in Sao Paulo. "Ever since I married Roberto we wanted to grow our family. In 2015 we went to a shelter here in Mairipora and we met Gabriel, who was at the shelter," Salvador said. "I ended up the first transgender woman in Brazil to go through the adoption system. I did the whole process to qualify myself. Then in 2016, a judge from Pernambuco (state) read something about me on the Internet in which I said that I wanted to adopt a transgender child. She contacted me saying that that transgender child might be in her region. That's when we adopted Ana Maria who was also 9 at the time and is 11 years old now and who is also a transgender girl." REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker
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Alexya Salvador (R), her son Gabriel (L) and her daughter Ana Maria stand in front their home in Sao Paulo. Salvador is just one of 45 transgender candidates on ballots throughout Brazil ahead of the October 7 election, a record number for the South American country.

REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker

Alexya Salvador (R), her son Gabriel (L) and her daughter Ana Maria stand in front their home in Sao Paulo. Salvador is just one of 45 transgender candidates on ballots throughout Brazil ahead of the October 7 election, a record number for the South...more

Alexya Salvador (R), her son Gabriel (L) and her daughter Ana Maria stand in front their home in Sao Paulo. Salvador is just one of 45 transgender candidates on ballots throughout Brazil ahead of the October 7 election, a record number for the South American country. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker
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Alexya Salvador leads church Mass in Sao Paulo. "I am in fact going to play my political role using my body," said Salvador. "Because being a trans person in a country that kills the most transgender people is already a political act in itself, simply existing."

REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker

Alexya Salvador leads church Mass in Sao Paulo. "I am in fact going to play my political role using my body," said Salvador. "Because being a trans person in a country that kills the most transgender people is already a political act in itself,...more

Alexya Salvador leads church Mass in Sao Paulo. "I am in fact going to play my political role using my body," said Salvador. "Because being a trans person in a country that kills the most transgender people is already a political act in itself, simply existing." REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker
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Alexya Salvador (L), her husband Roberto and their son Gabriel pick blackberries from a tree in front of their home in Sao Paulo. The surge of transgender candidates comes with the backdrop of the far-right leading presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro who has enraged many minority groups in Brazil with comments denigrating women, gays, blacks and indigenous people.

REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker

Alexya Salvador (L), her husband Roberto and their son Gabriel pick blackberries from a tree in front of their home in Sao Paulo. The surge of transgender candidates comes with the backdrop of the far-right leading presidential candidate Jair...more

Alexya Salvador (L), her husband Roberto and their son Gabriel pick blackberries from a tree in front of their home in Sao Paulo. The surge of transgender candidates comes with the backdrop of the far-right leading presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro who has enraged many minority groups in Brazil with comments denigrating women, gays, blacks and indigenous people. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker
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Alexya Salvador (R) and her family attend a church Mass in Sao Paulo. A survey released on September 25 showed Bolsonaro with 28 percent voter support in the first round vote compared to 22 percent for Fernando Haddad, the presidential candidate for Brazil's leftist Workers Party (PT), who is currently in second place in a wider field. In the likely scenario of a runoff vote, required by law if no candidate wins a majority in the first ballot, Haddad has 43 percent compared to Bolsonaro's 37 percent. Last week, Ibope showed the pair were tied with 40 percent each.

REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker

Alexya Salvador (R) and her family attend a church Mass in Sao Paulo. A survey released on September 25 showed Bolsonaro with 28 percent voter support in the first round vote compared to 22 percent for Fernando Haddad, the presidential candidate for...more

Alexya Salvador (R) and her family attend a church Mass in Sao Paulo. A survey released on September 25 showed Bolsonaro with 28 percent voter support in the first round vote compared to 22 percent for Fernando Haddad, the presidential candidate for Brazil's leftist Workers Party (PT), who is currently in second place in a wider field. In the likely scenario of a runoff vote, required by law if no candidate wins a majority in the first ballot, Haddad has 43 percent compared to Bolsonaro's 37 percent. Last week, Ibope showed the pair were tied with 40 percent each. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker
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Alexya Salvador (R) and her daughter Ana Maria use a mirror at their home in Sao Paulo. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker

Alexya Salvador (R) and her daughter Ana Maria use a mirror at their home in Sao Paulo. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker

Alexya Salvador (R) and her daughter Ana Maria use a mirror at their home in Sao Paulo. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker
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Alexya Salvador (L) and her daughter Ana Maria sew at their home in Sao Paulo. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker

Alexya Salvador (L) and her daughter Ana Maria sew at their home in Sao Paulo. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker

Alexya Salvador (L) and her daughter Ana Maria sew at their home in Sao Paulo. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker
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Alexya Salvador (R), her husband Roberto (L), her son Gabriel and her daughter Ana Maria (2-R) eat lunch at their home in Sao Paulo. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker

Alexya Salvador (R), her husband Roberto (L), her son Gabriel and her daughter Ana Maria (2-R) eat lunch at their home in Sao Paulo. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker

Alexya Salvador (R), her husband Roberto (L), her son Gabriel and her daughter Ana Maria (2-R) eat lunch at their home in Sao Paulo. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker
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Alexya Salvador prepares a cake in Sao Paulo. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker

Alexya Salvador prepares a cake in Sao Paulo. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker

Alexya Salvador prepares a cake in Sao Paulo. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker
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Alexya Salvador (L) attends a campaign rally in Sao Paulo. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker

Alexya Salvador (L) attends a campaign rally in Sao Paulo. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker

Alexya Salvador (L) attends a campaign rally in Sao Paulo. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker
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Transgender women attend Mass led by Alexya Salvador at a church in Sao Paulo. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker

Transgender women attend Mass led by Alexya Salvador at a church in Sao Paulo. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker

Transgender women attend Mass led by Alexya Salvador at a church in Sao Paulo. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker
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Alexya Salvador (L) leads church Mass in Sao Paulo. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker

Alexya Salvador (L) leads church Mass in Sao Paulo. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker

Alexya Salvador (L) leads church Mass in Sao Paulo. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker
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Alexya Salvador (C) attends a campaign rally in Sao Paulo. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker

Alexya Salvador (C) attends a campaign rally in Sao Paulo. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker

Alexya Salvador (C) attends a campaign rally in Sao Paulo. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker
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