Words of Pride: Rubens Faria speaks about Freedom and Fundamental Rights

In the next interview of the ‘Words of Pride’ series, Rubens Faria speaks about his experiences at and outside work and also shares a key message on how transforming speech into action is a significant factor to raise more awareness about the LGBTQ+ community and getting basic rights for a dignified living.

What does Pride Month personally mean to you?

Pride Month awakens two different feelings in me. A certain relief in being able to be proud of who I am and being protected by public policies that guarantee my rights, but also fear when thinking about how recent these achievements are. The thought that just four years ago, transsexuality was still treated as a psychiatric disorder truly scares me. Same thing with the fact that ten years ago, the Brazilian government restricted the concept of family to heteronormative couples. Feeling the relief of celebrating our lives collides with the reality that the fight is not over yet. It feels like a comfort I should not get too used to, as the rights that have been granted to me could be taken away at any time.

Rubens Faria

What are you the most excited about Pride Month 2022?

I believe this moment can serve as a time of reflection for people outside the LGBTQIAP+ community about the challenges we face every day. I use Pride Month as a way to bring up topics that aren’t much known or discussed among my family and friends. For example, just last weekend my brother-in-law and I were talking about “Pabllo Vittar” (a famous Brazilian drag queen and singer). Throughout our conversation, I was shocked to find out that he didn’t know the difference between a transgender woman and a drag queen! Was it scary to know that a person so close to me, was conceptually so far from my reality? Yes, but it was also a great chance to share the insights we have within the community, which may not be so obvious or present to other people. Transforming our message in a way that reaches everyone without judgment, is something that became important to me after this episode.

In your opinion, which are the most relevant issues affecting the global LGBTQ community which should be immediately addressed? Share your thoughts. 

There are countries where being LGBTQ is a crime; in some of these, the conviction for this crime is the death penalty. Some countries like Brazil, allow religions to antagonize LGBTQ people openly, excusing it under “freedom of belief”. Brazil is the country with the highest rate of transgender people getting killed because of transphobia. It is just shocking to have such horrible and savage crimes happening so often in the 21st century.

What do you think our society should work on during this Pride Month to raise awareness about important issues that impact the global LGBTQ community?

Access to fundamental rights! Transgender people deserve the right to grow old with dignity! According to 2019 data, the life expectancy of a transgender woman in Brazil is 35 years! It’s frightening to realize that, isn’t it? Transgender people need access to education and employment without being discriminated against. Heterosexual-cisgender individuals need to support the achievement and claim the rights of the LGBTQIAP+ community without thinking that this will take away their rights. What is being claimed by the LGBTQIAP+ population is access to basic rights to live a dignified life.

Are there any particular Pride-related events you’ll be attending this month that feel especially meaningful for you? 

Not in person, because the pandemic makes things still very limited in Brazil. However, I have been engaged in consuming and sharing products and services produced or supporting the LGBTQIAP+ community. Prioritizing buying these products and services has been a great exercise to meet outstanding professionals and entrepreneurs, as well as support the people who are part of it. I absolutely recommend everyone reading this to take this supportive step!

Rubens Faria

 

As one of the latest additions to the A-Team, what are your first impressions in terms of the inclusive and dynamic work culture AVOW manifests?

My first impression of AVOW is that it has a welcoming and representative work culture, which makes a point of listening to different perspectives. Appreciating the recognition of the LGBTQIAP+ people is just one of the many ways that diversity manifests itself in AVOW’s culture.

What do you think companies should do to make their company culture more inclusive and diverse?

Transform speech into action. I believe that arbitrarily reserving jobs for transgender people and educating the employees on how to create a healthy and welcoming environment for LGBTQIAP+ people is a promising start.

What do you like the most about working at AVOW, and how would you describe the company’s views towards diversity and inclusion? 

Just take a look at the A-Team and you’ll understand how AVOW cares about cultural diversity. Personally, this diversity enriches my perspectives on life and community. In addition, it helps to create a work environment where different points of view can coexist, causing surprisingly good ideas to emerge within the projects, delivering an equally enriching result to the clients and to the industry.

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