Sâmia Bomfim (30) was a councilor in São Paulo and is currently a federal deputy for PSOL. She was elected with 250 thousand votes, being the most voted of the party and the eighth most voted of all the state of São Paulo.
As a councilor in the city of São Paulo, she created a bill that prohibits any form of discrimination in the municipality due to sexual orientation or gender identity. Sanctioned by Bruno Covas, Law 17.301 took effect on January 24, 2020 and punishes not only companies, but individuals who commit discriminatory acts with physical and/or verbal violence against LGBT people.
By popular vote, the law authored by Sâmia e Reis won in the category “Women who fight” at the Poc Awards 2020.
In an interview with GAY BLOG BR, Sâmia talked about her daily struggles and analyzed the current political scenario:
You are a Federal Deputy for the PSOL on SP and have a long history in feminist activism. How do you define your period in the Chamber? More wins or losses?
This period in the Chamber has been one of confrontation and resistance, but the correlation of forces is not favorable, mainly because Jair Bolsonaro buys his support base with positions and amendments. During the pandemic, we managed to have some victories on behalf of the Brazilian people, such as, for example, the increase in the amount of emergency aid and the sending of resources to states and municipalities. But the context is very difficult, a defeat for the population, because the Chamber’s agenda is very reactionary and Bolsonaro’s support base was strengthened after the Lira election to the Presidency.
What is the feeling of being an opposition deputy of a government that uses all its energy to buy the influence and support that it has lost on the streets, pairing all its powers?
I feel, along with other female deputies, living in a moment of historical responsibility. I am working to strengthen the militancy with the streets and social movements and a fundamental task for our mandate is to combine work in parliament with work in cities and neighborhoods. We need to think about the future, a long-term project for the genocidal project that currently governs the country.
When you were councilor, you were responsible for PL No.120/2017, which institutes the humanized care program for legally authorized abortion within the scope of the municipality of São Paulo, among other projects that serve the women interests. How do you rate Brazil today compared to the time when you started legislating?
Yes, I submitted this bill, but it was overturned in banc. I think the political situation has worsened since then. I think that, starting in 2018, we are building milestones for the election of young, radical, left-wing women. This space, fortunately, has been expanding Therefore, if on the one hand the political situation is difficult, on the other hand there is greater presence and resistance in parliament. It makes me more confident in the future..
Bolsonaro does everything he can to delegitimize the performance of women. What is the importance of being a woman and occupying leadership spaces during such a misogynistic period of national government?
Being a woman and being in parliament is to develop important roles, such as strengthening women’s militancy, serving as a reference and encouragement for other women to occupy politics, especially the younger ones. It is women who suffer most of the demands of an authoritarian government and an unequal society. With each political, social and economic crisis, women have their lives devastated. So, I always try to prioritize the feminine and feminist perspective in my parliamentary performance, showing that women need to talk about their interests, issues and problems, in a segmented way, representing this very important sector in society.
Do you have other political plans or do you believe that it is within the Federal Chamber that your activism find the better space to develop?
For now, I have no other political pretensions. I will continue with my mandate until the end and, probably, try to reelection to continue developing the agendas that we started in this legislature.
You and Glauber Rocha, also a federal deputy for PSOL, representing Rio de Janeiro, form the terror couple for Bolsonarism (laughs). Does this co-working have more advantages or disadvantages?
Thank you (laughs) for calling us terror couple for Bolsonarism. This is a matter of honor and pride for both of us. Being Glauber’s partner has many advantages for our political activities, because we have a constant dynamic of exchange, debates and learning. Regardless of our relationship, I have a very strong admiration for his political performance, I’ve always had. I know it’s reciprocal, so we end up helping each other a lot. Obviously, the attacks come in double, especially now with the pregnancy announcement. There are several attacks, some very disrespectful, but we try not to be too shaken and move on with our work.
You even announced your first pregnancy, congratulations! How is the expectation of conciliate the militancy with the formation of a family? I imagine the excitement is immense.
It will be very challenging to share militancy with the formation of a family, but I know that many women have a challenging daily life, regardless of whether they are in politics or not. Because reconciling motherhood with domestic work and paid work is a big challenge. There are many layers of exploration and many difficulties faced by women. Fortunately, I have a support network and real conditions to share my work, militancy and, now, motherhood tasks. It will certainly be challenging, but I am sure that the lives of several Brazilian women, when faced with motherhood, can be even harder. So, any obstacle that I have will be faced in the best possible way, precisely to continue working and strengthening other women who do not get the opportunity I have.
Finally, what is your greatest expectation as an important member of the left-wing for the future of national politics? Where would you like to see your country go?
I hope that we will be able to defeat fascism, the extremist right and paramilitary organizations that are organized in different locations in Brazil. May we be able to make politics an instrument that enchants the population and that it be an instrument for the profound transformation of society. Brazil has deep, historical debts, with different social segments, for example, Northeasterners, women, blacks, LGBTQI+. There is a political and economic elite that has always dominated the country and we need to fight against it. Our generation needs to defeat fascism, but we need to build these sectors abandoned for so many centuries. I believe that we will be able to fulfill this mission. I’m pretty confident.
Follow Sâmia Bomfim on Instagram.