Preferred Name in the Brazilian Legal System

Creating an Institution to Combat Prejudice and Discrimination


  • Eduardo Tadeu Roque Amaral Federal University of Minas Gerais


discrimination, gender prejudice, transgender rights, preferred name, Brazilian legal system


The purpose of this paper is to address the issue of gender prejudice and discrimination by examining the linguistic and legal aspects of the inclusion of the preferred name (nome social, in Brazilian Portuguese) in the Brazilian legal system. A preferred name refers to the name chosen by a transgender person to be used in place of their registered name. In this discussion, we analyze federal bills, legal decisions, and regulations that have, from 2006 to 2022, contributed to the incorporation of the preferred name into various types of texts in Brazil. We also consider the results of studies that have examined the use of preferred names in the Brazilian media. The data analysis demonstrates that, despite the history of the establishment of this institution being marked by various instances of discrimination and violence, both in legal documents and in the media, the norms related to preferred names have simultaneously represented a significant stride for the public authorities and society to pay more attention to recognizing the rights of transgender individuals. In the case of legal decisions, there has also been a shift in the resolution of conflicts, favoring the principles of free name choice, self-identity determination, and human dignity.