API, Action For Identity – Interview with Santiago D’Almeida Ferreira

Action for Identity – API, is a non-governmental organization, which aims at defending, documenting and advocating for gender diversity and sex characteristics/body diversity. API’s work focuses on the experience of trans people and intersex through the promotion of Human Rights, with an anti-racist and feminist perspective. Intersectionality and non-discrimination on grounds of ancestry, sex, gender, race, ethnicity, language, place of origin, religion, political or ideological beliefs, age, education, economic status, social status, health status or sexual orientation are at the core of API’ s work.

API officially became a member organisation of IGLYO in November 2015.

To get more insights on API’s work, we interviewed Santiago D’Almeida Ferreira, co-director of Ação Pela Identidade (Action for Identity), Portugal.

  • Santiago, what is a very exciting project your organisation is currently working on?

The exciting project we have in hand is supporting the first trans woman to run to the Portuguese Parliament: Júlia Mendes Pereira. After more than a month (end of July until September) of media presence everyday, newspapers, magazines TV news, talk shows and online shows, etc; we can celebrate because we were able to put out there trans and intersex issues during campaign and also advise the political parties relating LGBTQI+ issues. It turned out better than expected. On a particular political party they made a great election program focusing the auto-determination of trans and intersex people. And not forgetting the accessibility to health services with consent and information.

 

  • What is a priority in API’s agenda?

Our priority is to give back trans and intersex people their rights and safety. We are very much concerned about that. Recently a friend of mine committed suicide (he was a trans man) because the human rights of trans people in Portugal are being severely destroyed.
So we are also sad and focused in working with the intersections and marginalization we as trans and intersex suffer around the world and specially in Portugal.

 

  • Why did API want to become a member of IGLYO?

Action for Identity wanted to become a member because myself and Júlia Mendes Pereira (co-founders) have had great experiences attending IGLYO’s events. And we also believe we will always need this bridge to exchange work, realities and diversity throughout Europe and within the LGBTQI+ community.

 

  • Which is the most useful advice you would like to give to an LGBTQI student/youngster at present time?

With 26 years old right now I am a University student for the first time. My personal intersectionality would make it hard for me to overcome that, something I personally wanted for more than 8 years but also something that as a black intersex queer young man would make things better for me. So I decided to “invade” structures of power and break them from inside. I decided to represent myself and my identity. 

I am not saying that you (young student/person) should do the same as I did,but at least you should know that even if you are suffering constant discrimination – because you like myself have an intersectional identity –you are really the most important part of the LGBTQI+ communities work right now. And you must wear your intersectional identity with pride. Because you are real.

Would you like to know more about API’s work?

Email – Website – Facebook – Twitter

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This photo was taken this year at Lisbon LGBTI Pride Parade.  Trans and intersex people opened the march with their own block. Santiago was the first intersex person ever to do this in Portugal.

Interview taken in October 2015.

 

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