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    Celebrating Cláudia Celeste


    August 22, 2022 | Celebrating Cláudia Celeste

    • Today’s Doodle celebrates the life of Cláudia Celeste, the first trangender actress to appear in Brazilian telenovelas. She won and organized many beauty pageants, and was also a singer, dancer, director, producer and author. Despite the obstacles and challenges she faced, Celeste became an inspiring figure who opened the door for future generations of trangender and LGBTQ+ talent in Brazil. On this day in 1988, was the first time Cláudia appeared in a role as an openly trans woman in the opening episode of "Olho por Olho".

      Celeste was born in Brazil in 1952. She started exploring her identity and talents while in the army. After serving, she earned her beauty diploma and became a hairdresser in Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro when she was 20. According to her, daily life working at the salon inspired her decision to transition. That same year, she accompanied a friend to a theater audition and was chosen to perform as well. She made her debut as a dancer on the stage of Beco de Garrafas.

      In 1973, a theater in Rio de Janeiro called Teatro Rival became the first to obtain a government license to perform “O mundo é das Bonecas”. Celeste was invited as a lead alongside other well-known transgender actors. After the show’s success, other productions recognized her talents and provided opportunities to dance throughout many nightclubs in Brazil.

      In 1976, Celeste decided to compete in the Miss Brazil Pop pageant and won the contest. One year later, she was invited to act in a soap opera called "Magic Mirror" after its director saw one of her performances at the Teatro Rival. No one in the cast or crew knew she was transgender, and headlines drew negative attention to the news after her first scene. The show was canceled soon after, and she moved to Europe to pursue other opportunities.

      Upon returning to Brazil, Celeste auditioned to star in a soap opera called "Olho por Olho" and won the role over 200 others. Her commitment to the character was unmatched, constantly giving her valuable opinion on the script and narrative. Although she faced discrimination being ousted from the cast when her trans identity was "found out" my management, she pushed forward into new opportunities for the rest of her career, cementing her legacy as a pioneer who fought for the rights of transgender and LGBTQ+ performers everywhere. 

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