Duda Salabert

Duda Salabert (born 1981/82) is a Brazilian politician, environmentalist, and teacher.[1] In 2020, she became the first transgender person to serve on the city council of Belo Horizonte after campaigning as a Democratic Labour Party candidate. She was elected with over 37,000 votes, more than any city council candidate in the history of Minas Gerais at the time.

Duda Salabert
Duda Salabert at an event in 2018
Salabert at an event in 2018
Belo Horizonte City Councilor
Assumed office
Personal details
Born1981/1982 (age 38–39)
Political partyDemocratic Labour Party
Other political
Socialism and Liberty Party (previous)

Personal lifeEdit

Salabert began working as a teacher in 2002. She cofounded Transvest, a non-governmental organization focused on combating transphobia.[2]

Political activityEdit

In 2018, Salabert campaigned as a Socialism and Liberty Party candidate to represent the state of Minas Gerais in the Brazilian Senate.[3] Salabert said that she had received invitations to campaign for other offices, but that she chose the Senate as a form of provocation, noting that the etymology of the term senate relates to men and that "if it is a space made for gentlemen, a travesti woman seeking this space is extremely provocative".[a] She additionally stated that she had been targeted on social media and that she feared escalation to physical violence. She was 36 years old at the time.[4] Salabert received more than 350,000 votes,[3] not winning the election but becoming the first transgender person to run for the Brazilian Senate.[5]

In April 2019, Salabert left the Socialism and Liberty Party, criticizing the party for "structural transphobia" and anthropocentrism.[6]

In 2020, Salabert was elected to the city council of Belo Horizonte after campaigning as a member of the Democratic Labour Party. She was the first transgender person elected to the Belo Horizonte city council, and with 37,000 votes in support, the most-voted-for city council candidate in Minas Gerais history at the time.[3] In December 2020, the school where Salabert taught received an email threatening both her and the school if she remained in her position, and she was fired.[5]

In June 2021, Salabert announced that she would campaign for a Senate seat in 2022. She had previously pledged to serve for her entire 4-year term on the Belo Horizonte city council, but stated that she had been advised by the United Nations and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to seek a position in the federal government so that she could be protected by the Polícia Federal after having received death threats. If elected to the Brazilian Senate, Salabert would be the first trans woman to hold a seat.[5]


  1. ^ Original quote in Portuguese: "Eu aceitei pelo caráter simbólico. Senado, na sua etimologia, significa 'senhores'. Se é um espaço feito para senhores, uma mulher travesti disputando esse espaço é extremamente provocativo."


  1. ^ "Com participação de Duda Salabert, aula inaugural do ICB discute diversidade de gênero e ciência" [With the participation of Duda Salabert, ICB's inaugural class discusses gender and science diversity]. Federal University of Minas Gerais. May 24, 2021. Retrieved June 10, 2021.
  2. ^ Ernesto, Marcelo (March 13, 2018). "Minas pode ter a primeira mulher travesti disputando uma das vagas ao Senado" [Minas may have the first transvestite woman competing for a seat in the Senate]. Estado de Minas. Retrieved June 10, 2021.
  3. ^ a b c Cardin, Adele (November 17, 2020). "Brazil's Sixth-Largest City Elects Its First Trans City Councilor, Duda Salabert". The Rio Times. Retrieved June 10, 2021.
  4. ^ Conteúdo, Estadão (August 12, 2018). "Duda Salabert: quem é a primeira candidata trans ao Senado" [Duda Salabert: who is the first trans candidate for the Senate]. Veja. Retrieved June 10, 2021.
  5. ^ a b c Malheiro, Franco (June 9, 2021). "Vereadora Duda Salabert mira o Senado, mas terá concorrência no PDT" [Councilwoman Duda Salabert targets the Senate, but will have competition in the PDT]. O Tempo. Retrieved June 10, 2021.
  6. ^ Guerra, Rayanderson (April 22, 2019). "Primeira trans a disputar vaga ao Senado, Duda Salabert deixa PSOL e acusa partido de 'transfobia estrutural'" [Duda Salabert, first trans person to seek Senate seat, leaves PSOL and accuses party of 'structural transphobia']. O Globo. Retrieved June 10, 2021.