"We don't know each other, but I owe you a lot"

São Paulo, SP, April 8, 2018

Dear president.

Did you watch the final of the São Paulo state football championship? They said you have a television there. I swear that I completely lack any knowledge about football, but I was so thrilled when Corinthians won I actually screamed. I thought, gee, Lula will be happy. Lula deserves about twenty Corinthians victories, but this one will do for now.

I was there at the metalworkers' union headquarters on that horrible day, but I had never been there before. Unfortunately, when you had hair I was not part of the movement, since I am 19 years old. We don't know each other, but I owe you a lot.

Mr. President, my mother is my inspiration, and you are hers. You are the reason that we know, to cite a few recent examples, that this country can be something beautiful if we fight for it. You are the guy who silences, with a single word, a Paulista Avenue jammed with people, not out of fear, like they want to do by putting you in jail, but out of respect. You are the reason that my mother could vote for a woman president, because Dilma Rousseff is fucking great but she would not have made it there, the party would not have made it there, without you. None of us would be the same person without you, within the movement and beyond. But you must know this, Mr. President, so I will talk about things you don't know about: the way my mother cried, tears of pride, of someone who struggles, when you said that the powerful cannot stop the arrival of spring. She cried because she was an activist at your side, and she knows that's the truth. You make her believe that spring will be real once again. Thank you for that, Mr. President. Thank you for the fact that my friend can attend medical school at a quality university that seems to live up to her natural talent (she sleeps and dreams of operating on livers, Mr. President, and you can be sure that her work is well-done because she will be the best doctor this country has ever seen). Thank you for giving my other friend, who lost two children and doesn't believe in anything, something to believe in. You don't know us. But we know the symbol.

I am young, Mr. President, and I'm afraid. There is talk of a military dictatorship. You are in there and not out here with us. You should only have to worry about the outcome of the Corinthians game today, and I should be concerned with my studies. I should be certain that I will be able to expose my LGBT art in three years. I should be certain that I will be able to vote for you (fingers crossed, Mr. President). But self-pity is not productive for me or our country. My mother taught me that we must fight, and you taught her. You are a human being and I know that you are tired and that you must have been scared, but you kept your head held high and that makes all the difference in the world to me. I know that you understand your importance on an individual, unique basis. When you told us to carry your mantle, you must know that we already did.

Mr. President, I will fight. And I intend to inspire people around me to do the same. That is something I learned from you. Please be well. Let's carry this forward together, okay?

Until next time,

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