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20 May 2013

Waleria Fernanda Torres (1950 - ) chemical engineer, sexologist

Torres was raised in São Paulo. He graduated in Chemical Engineering in 1972 from the Escola Politécnica da Universidade de São Paulo. He married twice and had children in both marriages. He lectured at universities and was a consultant to the petrochemical and fertilizer industries.

After a second divorce, Torres made a spiritual retreat before deciding to transition. She was then in her mid-40s. At first Torres sought advice from other transsexuals, but turned instead to the 'experts'. She was treated at the Hospital das Clínicas da Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de São Paulo, and had surgery in 1997 from Dr Jalma Jurado at Faculdade de Medicina de Jundiaí.

She made her own study of gender identity and gained a masters degree in sexology from University Gama Filho in Rio de Janeiro. In 1998 she published Meu sexo real using her then name Martha Freitas. A English translation of this book was sent by the publisher to the Frankfurt Book Fair of that year where it was discovered and endorsed by Günter Dörner of Berlin's Humboldt-Universität.

Martha became the leader of Transgender Brazil, which had come together that year, and appeared on several Brazilian television programs, of which the most important was a debate on Ede Viva between Jalma Jurado and Martha Freitas on one hand and representatives of the Catholic Church. However Martha found most television show far too sensational, and declined further invitations.

In 2000 she changed her name to Waleria Torres. She became the only Latin American member of HBIGDA in 2002 and the Organization Intersex International (OII) spokesperson for Lusophonic countries. She edited GID Journal and runs an online gender diagnosis and counselling service for those able and willing to pay. She blogged as Martha Freitas until 2009.

She has proposed the term Neurodiscord for transsexuals. She stresses that
"due to its complexity, the evolution of gender identity for each individual is 'a priori' unpredictable, irrespect of which are the genitals, the chromosomes, and so on. The lack of predictability is for each individual. For the species, for the human colectivity, there are patterns of development, and these patterns may be recognized - through its dynamic signatures."
"the Gender Identity self-perception is something unpredictable 'a priori', even when there is a typical sexual development - when society considers someone 'normal' man or woman - we said also that was a characteristic of a Chaotic System. In chaotic systems, the unpredictability means there are more probable and less probable states for any development inside the system. The lack of previsibility is not related to random noise - external noise - but to inner fractality - a characteristic of the system."
  • Martha C. Freitas. Meu sexo real: a origem somática, neurobiológica e inata da transexualidade e suas conseqüências na reconceituação da sexualidade humana. Petrópolis: Editora Vozes, 1998. English translation: Sex, the Invisible Reality: Inner Real Sex in Discord with Genital Shape : the Innate, Somatic and Neural Defection Named Transsexuality. Editora Vozes, 1998.
  • Martha C. Freitas. O Mito Genital. Belaspalavras, 1998.
  • Astrid Bodstein. "Brazilian Transsexual Odyssey". Transgender Tapestry, 99, Fall 2002. Online at: Online.
  • Martha Freitas. "Gender Identity Disorders". Changling Aspects, Dec 11, 2005.
  • "Biografias trans da CPLP¹ – Wal Torres". Confissões Agridoces, 24 de marco de 2009,  
  • March 2009. 

1 comment:

  1. Dear Zagria, apparently Dr. Torres passed away around two years ago (in 2019), months prior to the Corona outbreak, but nobody has disclosed this publicly (I have heard only rumors in the Brazilian trans community). Indeed, she has completely withdrawn from social life for more than two years (Wikipedia in Portuguese sets her death date as May 2019). Let's hope she is alive and sound.


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