We received many excellent applications for our 2015 Jeremy Dias Scholarship, but Adrianne Almeida-Furtado was the stand-out applicant! We at the Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity offer her a belated congratulations for her amazing application and outstanding activism.
Adrianne Almeida-Furtado (Adri for short) is a fierce 22-year-old South Asian trans woman who wants nothing more than to disrupt the “cis-tem” using her recently-discovered brown trans woman superpowers. A recent graduate of Western University’s Ivey Business School, where she specialized in entrepreneurship and sustainability, Adri has made her mark as a student organizer to advance mental health and queer/trans inclusion conversations in the oppressive environment of business school. Through her work with “Out at Ivey”, a student LGBTQ+ student initiative, Adri directed a video campaign on “bringing your whole self” that was widely viewed and received public recognition from students, and administration. She also organized the “Celebrating Diversity” class photo to honour the legacy of the late Ivey grad and LGBTQ leader Rocky Campana; the photo received participation from hundreds of students who were educated on the importance of queer and trans inclusion in business. After moving back to Toronto this summer, Adri joined the Youth Advisory Committee for Planned Parenthood Toronto’s LGBTQ Youth Initiative, and the Board of Directors of LGBT Youth Line, a queer and trans support service for Ontario youth, by youth. She will also begin making her own short film as a youth participant in “New Visions”, a queer video mentorship program run by Inside Out, Canada’s largest LGBT film festival. With a spark of anger and flame of hope, Adri wants to envision, speak, and write herself and her sisters into the spaces of the world where they’ve been told they can’t exist, creating mirrors wherever she goes. She loves singing loudly in the shower, watching Survivor unironically, and geocaching.