Rio de Janeiro, BR – Indianara Siqueira, a prominent male political figure and transgender rights activist who identifies as a woman, has been expelled from the Socialism and Liberty Party (PSOL) of Brazil amidst accusations that he staged a “coup,” taking over property used by a non-profit organization and appropriating it for such uses as the housing of transsexual street persons and the sexual exploitation of children.
PSOL rejected 48-year-old Indianara’s bid for federal deputy of Rio de Janeiro in the 2018 elections while the party conducted an investigation into a complaint against him.
The complaint was lodged with the National Commission of Ethics of PSOL by Isabel Ferreira Zarzuela – a Spain-born art historian, feminist and lefist who is affiliated with PSOL and is one of four original founders of cultural center Casa Nuvem – and her companion Eduardo Bonito.
According to their complaint, Indianara, who joined Nuvem in June 2014, announced “Occupation” of the House on Facebook on February 28, 2016. They say the move followed two months of bullying, during which Indianara demanded via WhatsApp that Nuvem “release the space” for him to use for his project Nem; announced he would no longer communicate with other House managers face-to-face, but via text only; and launched a “virtual lynching” that he called Sangue nas Nuvens (“Blood in the Clouds”) – a social media campaign that effectively silenced Nuvem by tarring the group as transphobic.
Renaming the property Casa Nem, Indianara converted it into a “trans woman house,” filling the place with “transsexuals” who were currently involved in street prostitution. Running up bills he could not pay, Indianara allegedly drove the property into a debt of over R$ 100,000, and in September 2016, the House received an eviction order.
According to the PSOL Ethics Committee (page 45), an adolescent who resided at Casa Nem filed a legal complaint claiming to have been subjected to and have witnessed the prostitution of children on the premises:
During the analysis of the case we had access to a complaint sent to the Ministry
Public by means of Official Letter N 019/2018, according to which an adolescent trans
resident of Casa Nem, had denounced practices of sexual exploitation and various forms
of human rights violations within the House.
The committee heard the testimony of many witnesses, and reviewed a substantial amount of evidence, which included Indianara’s WhatsApp messages and 30 hours of audio. Indianara had made several public statements in posts and videos, in which he appears to be bragging about his “occupation” of the House and expulsion of Nuvem.
The report by the Ethics Committee determined that Indianara had coerced the people of Casa Nuvem “to leav[e] their space built after years of collective effort,” and that the “expulsion constitute[d] sufficient reason for” him to be expelled from PSOL. PSOL discovered that, as a means of coercion, Indianara had issued death threats, weaponized accusations of transphobia, and engaged in defamation of character and the spread of fake news.
At the conclusion of the investigation in April 2019, PSOL announced a unanimous vote to remove Indianara from the party:
The National Executive of the PSOL communicates, with regret, the dismissal of IndianarA Siqueira from its party cadres. The measure was approved by the National Board, with no contrary vote of its 61 members, based on the opinion of the PSOL National Ethics Committee.
Despite the accusations of child prostitution and other unethical behavior, Indianara has retained notable supporters, including the LGBT Sector of PSOL, Mandata Quilombo – which was built by Erica Malunguinho, the first black and trans state deputy of São Paulo – the National Association of Transsexuals and Transsexuals and the Forum of State Coordination of Transvestites and Transsexuals of the State of Rio de Janeiro.
Supporters denounce the accusations that led to Indianara’s expulsion as a “transphobic narrative.” Rodrigo Luis Veloso, of the LGBT Sector of PSOL RJ, slammed Ms Ferreira, the feminist who filed the complaint against Indianara for the “invasion” of Nuvem property, as “the right-wing Spaniard” who holds a “conservative view of the trans universe.”
No Corpo Certo, an organization that is critical of the gender identity movement, compiled a list of activists who are asking the party to review the decision, urging fellow leftists to challenge those who are standing behind a man accused of child exploitation while dismissing detractors as “transphobic”: “You will recognize people you voted for, friends, affiliated with your party. … These people … claim to speak for you.”
Ms Ferreira revealed that she feels vindicated by PSOL’s decision, but also conveyed sorrow at the loss of two organizations:
I take this opportunity to express my sadness. Sadness for the lost spaces (Nuvem and nem) in a city with a historical lack of autonomous spaces. Infinite sadness for my lost loves in the midst of this war. Sadness for so many things that would have and would not have happened if, before we had made certain decisions, we had considered that ends do not justify the means and that the rhetoric of uncritical violence is a double-edged sword.
“Homotransphobia is a crime. I was just waiting for it to work out. From Monday I will sue the psol using this new law,” Indianara declared on June 15. Indianara had been a member of PSOL since 2013. He is also chair of the NGO TransRevolución. As part of a transgender activist group, he fought for the right of transgender individuals to use their chosen names, and he has also fought for men who identify as trans women to be placed in the female wing of hospitals.
Indianara served a prison sentence in France between 2007 and 2009 for the crime of pimping. Due to the conviction, he is prohibited entry into France to this day.
On his public figure Facebook page, Indianara, who began using cross-sex hormones at the age of 12, describes himself as a “whore, vegan, transvestite and Alternate Councilor…an activist in defense of visibility and trans citizenship of all LGBTIQs and women.” During the 2016 elections, he dubbed himself the puta vereadora (“whore councilwoman”) candidate. He has been repeatedly arrested in Brazil for marching topless, including at the country’s annual March of the Whores (NSFW).
Director Aude Chevalier-Beaum created the film Indianara as a portrait of the militant activist’s “political life and public life, personal life and intimate life,” according to a Radio France International (RFI) interview. The documentary, which was brought to world debut at the Cannes Film Festival on May 19 by the Association of Independent Cinema for sa diffusion, has been a hit, with several showings before a packed house and a contract to run on the commercial circuit during the week.
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Nota da Executiva Nacional do PSOL sobre o desligamento da filiada Indianara Siqueira
A Executiva Nacional do PSOL comunica, com pesar, o desligamento de Indianare Siqueira dos seus quadros partidários.
Parecer Comissao de Etica PSOL
National Commission of Ethics of PSOL
1 – Breve apresentação do caso Este relatório trata de um conflito envolvendo duas militantes filiadas ao PSOL: Isabel Ferreira Zarzuela e Indianara Alves Siqueira.
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