Talles de Oliveira Faria made a bold statement when he walked onstage during his graduation wearing a red dress and high heels. He graduated from one of Brazil's most prestigious schools, the Aeronautic Technology Institute of the Air Force where he was treated miserably for being a homosexual.
Faria experienced bullying and repression from both his co-students and faculty members. He didn't expect that his dream school would actually prevent him from knowing himself more.
"I heard that it was the best university in the country and that it could open you several opportunities in the future … I did not know that it was going to be the worst deception of my life,” he told the LGBTQ Nation.
Faria detailed that the hate even extended to some students who told him to just kill himself.
The school, as part of the military arm of Brazil, is hypermasculine and still denounces homosexuality.
But Faria knows better. He is principled and he knows that he is larger than all their criticisms.
"Since childhood, they teach us that being lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transsexual is a shame and then we take a lot of time to heal those injuries. They insulted me, they laughed at me and tried to make me invisible,” he related.
Walking up on stage in red dress and heels made Faria a symbol of courage and strength amongst the LGBTQ community all over the country. It was a manifestation for fighting homophobia not only for himself but also fighting the hate inside the military, and this makes the act important and significant.
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