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Crossdressing in College: 5 Doctors Inspiring the Next Generation of Trans People

Crossdressing in College: 5 Doctors Inspiring the Next Generation of Trans People


With trajectories and works that challenge prejudice and praise LGBTQIA+ activism, they have distinguished themselves in the academic world




In the midst of their lifelong struggles for rights and public policies in favor of the community, tirelessly fighting the prejudice rooted in society against the LGBTQIAPN+ population, they have invested in academic studies.

Their appreciation for their education – and their doctorate – challenges the sexist and transphobic view that still sees them in marginalized contexts and shows that the place for transvestites is, in fact, the university. Keila, Luma, Juh, Lua and Dodi have transformed their journeys into activism and a legacy for the new generation of trans people. Discover their stories:

Dodi Leal

Graduated in Performing Arts from the School of Communication and Arts of the University of São Paulo (ECA-USP), Dodi Leal returned to the university in 2023, ten years after graduating, to work as a teacher in the Laboratory of Performative Practices, in the Postgraduate Program – Graduate in Performing Arts (PPGAC) to teach the discipline Transvestite Fabulations about the End.

In addition to his degree from ECA, Dodi holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from FEA-USP, where he developed a Master of Science in Controllership and Accounting. In 2018, he obtained a Doctorate in Social Psychology from the Institute of Psychology of the same institution.

Dodi is currently a full professor at the Federal University of South Bahia (UFSB) and a collaborating professor at the State University of Santa Catarina (Udesc).

Born in São Paulo, she turns 40 this month and, in addition to being a researcher, works as a performer, curator, critic and theatre illuminator. Dodi has published books and articles and has given courses and conferences in countries such as the United States, Austria and Mexico.





What is the difference between trans and transvestite?
What is the difference between trans and transvestite?

Keila Simpson

An activist in the LGBTQIA+ movement since 1990, Keila, 59, from Maranhão, is one of Brazil’s most prominent trans leaders. She founded the National Association of Transvestites and Transsexuals (ANTRA) and is currently the organization’s president.

In April of this year, Keila became the first Brazilian transvestite to receive the title of Doctor Honoris Causa from the State University of Rio de Janeiro (UERJ). It is a title awarded to illustrious figures, national or foreign, who stand out for their contribution to culture, education or humanity.

“Keila is more than a human repository of knowledge. She is the teacher of a hundred other trans and cisgender people who came after this lineage. Recognizing all this in life is necessary and much more than symbolic, especially today,” commented Symmy Larrat, National Secretary for the Promotion and Defense of LGBTQIA+ Rights, at the time.



Keila Simpson speaks at the ceremony to confer the title of Doctor Honoris Causa from the State University of Rio de Janeiro (UERJ)

In 2023, Keila embarked on an activist tour in Europe. He attended the 51st session of the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, and received huge applause in France for his speech on the deplorable situation of trans people in Brazil. Also last year, he became a member of the LGBTQIA+ National Council linked to the Ministry of Human Rights and Citizenship.

Luma Andrade

In 2012, the university professor became the first transvestite to complete a doctorate in the country. Of humble origins, Luma was born in the interior of Ceará and suffered the prejudices of his family, the church and local society. Today, he works as a professor at the University of International Integration of Afro-Brazilian Lusophony (Unilab).

Daughter of farmers, Luma Andrade began her academic life in the course of Biological Sciences at the State University of Ceará (UECE). At the age of 35, she became a Doctor of Education at the Federal University of Ceará (UFC) with a thesis on the reality of transvestites in schools, reporting cases of students and her own history. It is the first work in Brazil that portrays transvestites and trans people in a school context.



Luma Andrade: First Transvestite Doctor in the Country at the Federal University of Ceará (UFC)

In 2023, Luma received, in Fortaleza, the Iracema Medal, the highest recognition of the Municipal Executive, awarded to personalities who contribute, in their professional field, to the development of the city.

Juh Cirico

The country’s first transvestite accountant dreams of becoming a university professor. Juh Círico graduated from the Federal University of Uberlândia (UFU) and wants to be a reference for other trans people and transvestites. He obtained his academic title with the thesis “Voices of Resistance: Experiences of Transgender and Transvestite People in Brazilian Accounting.”

Like the other transvestites in this article, Juh Círico hopes that the result will serve as inspiration and open the doors for more trans people and transvestites to occupy universities.

She dreamed of working in accounting since she was a teenager, when she worked in an office, and had to face a series of difficulties – from literally walking a long way to get to college to the prejudicial attitudes of colleagues and teachers – to achieve that goal.



Juh Círico: The country's first transvestite accountant does post-doc at USP

Without giving up, Juh persisted and completed the course. She also has a master’s degree in Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer for Innovation and was recently approved for a post-doc in Accounting at the Faculty of Economics, Administration, Accounting and Actuarial Sciences of the University of São Paulo (FEA-USP).

Luke Lamberti

Lua was the first transvestite to complete a master’s degree at the State University of Maringá (UEM) in 2019, and in March of this year, she became the first transvestite to earn a doctorate in the institution’s history. To complete her doctorate in Education, Lua defended her thesis “Transformist Arts: Methodologies, Languages ​​and Grotesque Fictions on Transepistemological Pedagogical Bases,” in which she discusses the work of three transformist artists: drag queen Ginger Moon and drag kings Don Valentim and Rubão.



Lua Lamberti: First Transvestite Doctor in the History of the State University of Maringá (UEM)

She also has a Master’s Degree in Performing Arts from EMU and works as a professor in the Department of Music and Performing Arts (DMC). “My goal is to make EMU transition, open vacancies, quotas, and public, affirmative, and permanency policies for trans people,” she said in an interview on the university’s website.

Source: Terra

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