Eliseu Neto (1978-2024)

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By JULIAN RODRIGUES*

Eliseu Neto's early departure leaves a huge gap in LGBTI activism and an even greater longing in the hearts of his friends

“It's so strange / the good die young / that's how it seems / when I remember you / that you ended up leaving / too soon”
(“Love in the Afternoon”, Renato Russo)

When the world is reinvented there will be a law prohibiting people from dying young, in the prime of their lives. It's excruciating to watch the early departure of loved ones — but it's part of the absurdity of existence...

A sad week. The national movement of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transvestites, transsexuals and intersex people no longer has the intelligence, commitment, ability to articulate and above all the generosity and charisma of Eliseu Neto (1978-2024).

It's difficult to write about a friend as dear as Elisha. I cried a lot when I found out about his death. Younger than me, he was only 45! We had spoken on the phone about 20 days ago. He was fighting an autoimmune disease. He was excited about the effects of cannabis medicinal. We expected it to get better. It seems that it is more difficult to deal with the illness and death of people so young. And they were with us until yesterday, working, laughing, thinking, acting, dreaming.

I don't remember exactly when, how and where I met Eliseu Neto. It must have been in Brasília at one of the countless events articulating LGBTI rights agendas.

I, from the PT left, he is a member of the PPS. In theory, it would notmatch”. But, on the contrary, it was a friendship at first sight. I think that our passion for politics and dedication to LGBTI and Human Rights issues brought us together almost instantly.

Not to mention the humor, friendliness and intelligence of my friend, Roberto Freire's follower. In fact, we loved teasing each other. He mocks the PT and I, the PPS (it's no use, I have always categorically refused to call this party Citizenship).

Center-left activist, pragmatic, prepared, dedicated and with a taste for political struggle. I would say that he was somewhat to the left of the average opinion of his Party, which, however, had no repercussions on his party organization and discipline.

Eliseu Neto – together with Paulo Iotti and other historical activists – was one of the main people responsible for great achievements for the LGBTI population, such as, for example, the legal action with the STF that resulted in the equation, for criminal purposes, of homophobia and transphobia with racism . A milestone in our journey towards recognition and full citizenship.

I spoke to him a few times after his health condition was diagnosed. Despite being a little weak in his speech, he remained lucid and in good humor. But autoimmune disease is relentless. My friend was a psychologist and psychoanalyst, which probably helped him deal with a certain temperance in the face of the imminent end.

At moments like this I even envy those who believe in metaphysics, in other lives, in heavens, paradises and heavens.

However, only what was left and what was done remains. Eliseu Neto will continue to live in the memory of his family and friends and in the history of the Brazilian LGBTI movement.

Eliseu Neto: present!

* Julian Rodrigues, journalist and teacher, he is a member of the LGBTI movement, the Human Rights movement and the PT.


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