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Pomona College

Publication Date

Spring 2009

Program Name

Brazil: Culture, Development, and Social Justice


This research paper conducted in Salvador, Brazil seeks to explore the construction of gender in contemporary society in relation to the dominant machista society. This research was conducted through observation and participation in the organization Grupo Gay da Bahia. Through a consultation of decades of archives that included newspaper clippings, letters and informational activist literature, this research has a foundation in the practical work against the powers that are dominant in the Salvador society. Using these findings as supplementary evidence, this evidence considers the testimony and experiences of three transgender – non-normative gendered persons – within the Salvador Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) community. The data collected through this research addresses and attempts to explain the way in which gender is constructed by these individuals in ways contrary to the dominant hegemonic culture. Through exploring this question this research discovers and posits that when those that don’t fit into spaces that are so finely drawn and marked by society – specifically in terms of gender identity – those on the outside are left with no other option than to create a space for themselves within which there is room for their identity and sentiments. These new constructions that serve the individual are not uniform in their existence, but in their path to conception. With the support of the GGB as the integral center of GLBT issues in Salvador and inclusive environment for those within that community, this identity is accepted and appropriated as a part of the resistance to the dominant culture.


Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies


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