It doesn't matter how old or young you are — being bullied is the worst. Unfortunately, for the LGBTQ community, bullying is practically a fact of life. It's how you deal with it that matters, which is why this amazing student makes us want to stand up and clap.
Talles de Oliveira Faira, an openly gay student from Brazil, says he was the victim of bullying and discrimination at his school.
Faira studied engineering at Brazil’s distinguished Aeronautic Technology Institute of the Air Force. “Since I was 12 years old, I listened to wonderful things about the Institute,” he said. All of those "wonderful things" were thrown out the door as he experienced the exact opposite because of his sexuality.
"They insulted me, they laughed at me and tried to make me invisible.”
The shaming wasn't only from the students, either — the staff also partook in the homophobic ridicule towards Faira. He explained that one military man told him, "If I were you, I’d kill myself."
Even though Brazil — Latin America's most heavily populated country— has made progress for rights of LGBTQ citizens, it is still known as one of deadliest places in the world in terms of anti-LGBTQ violence.
Even though he had to deal with homophobes throughout his years at the university, he made a slay-worthy statement to them on graduation day — by wearing a dress and heels.
Can we please point out how iconic his unveiling was once his name was called? And we are LIVING for this look and his bravery to live his true, authentic life as he pleases.
Also, let's take a moment to appreciate those sky-high heels as he accepts his diploma. MAJOR!
His outfit gets even better because his dress had a literal message that addressed the topics that the school would rather keep on the DL.
Of course he wore it proudly and fiercely.
His family was supportive of his decision to do this, but his mother was also concerned. "She was worried about what would happen to me, but she understood the importance. My brother, too. My grandmother was there, my uncles — inside the family was very welcoming," he said.
"When I arrived at the institute I decided that it was enough. Either you accept me as I am or you will be exposed for what you really are.”
We hope that his disrespectful professors and peers got the message loud and clear.
Congratulations on receiving your degree and inspiring others with your fearlessness, Faira!