Applaud Transgender Fashion Models on the Runway

Target: Sergio Mattos, director of 40 Graus Models

Goal: Commend Brazil modeling agencies and fashion designers for championing transgender models

Until recently, the LGBT+ community was severely underrepresented in Brazil’s fashion scene. But a recent trend has seen many transgender models in fashion ads and walking the runway. These trans-models bring new light to the fashion industry, with sharp features, exotic, edgy looks, and a femininity all their own.

Felipa Tavares is one of the newest transgender models to take the scene by storm. As a child, Tavares (born Felipe) always thought her ambitions to become a model were a pipe-dream. Discovered by accident, Tavares was taking a modeling basics class by the former head of Elite Model Management, Sergio Mattos. He was so impressed with her, he offered to represent her in her modeling career. At the time, Mattos was totally unaware of her gender history, and upon finding out decided to give her a shot anyway. Tavares is currently saving money for her sex reassignment surgery, but she is still as confident as ever, even doing bikini ad campaigns for Brazilian swimwear labels.

While the transgender model movement has made great strides in Brazil, transgender models are still fighting to pave a smoother path. Some models are rejected from jobs because clients panic about their customer’s response. But the new visibility of transgender models is a milestone in the long road to ending discrimination.

Transgender models in the public eye will help to change the way transgender people are treated. Accepting people of all gender identities for ad campaigns and fashion shows is a huge step in ending the hate and ridicule that both transgender men and women are often victims of. Sign the petition to thank Brazilian modeling agencies for not excluding transgender models.


Dear Mr. Mattos,

The recent trend of transgender models in Brazil’s fashion industry is in large part thanks to you. You were willing to believe in these models based on their looks and talent, and not their gender history. You, along with numerous fashion designers and other modeling agencies, are helping to pave the way to an end to discrimination.

By giving transgender models a chance, you are showing the world that it is alright to be different, and that everyone deserves acceptance. These transgender models are beautiful inside and out. Thank you for overlooking their differences and proving to the world that there is no place for hate in it anymore.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: The Linc via Fotopedia

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