First Lady Breaks Protocol And Delivers Her Speech In Sign Language

Michelle Bolsonaro said that the hearing-impaired would have their rights respected in the new administration

Brasília and São Paulo
Brazil's new First Lady Michelle Bolsonaro (L) delivers a speech in sign language flanked by her husband, Brazil's new president Jair Bolsonaro - AFP

For the first time in Brazilian history, First Lady Michelle Bolsonaro broke protocol during her husband's inauguration on Tuesday (1st), by delivering her speech before him and in sign language, while the couple was standing in front of Palácio do Planalto, which is considered one of the most formal parts of the ceremony.

In response to the audience's requests, the first lady kissed Bolsonaro twice and seemed to be moved by the public's reaction.

Michelle Bolsonaro, who taught herself Brazilian sign language, also translated Bolsonaro's campaign materials to sign language during the election period. She does outreach work for the hearing-impaired community with her Baptist church. Her group makes versions of worshiping services in sign languages and also teaches it to young people.

The new first lady had been preparing for weeks a surprise for the inauguration, but what exactly would happen was a secret even for members of Bolsonaro's team.

During her two-minute speech, Michelle thanked the support and prayers for her husband.

"The election gave a voice for those who were previously unheard. And Brazilians want peace, security, and prosperity. A country where everyone is respected," she said.

She also said that, as the first lady, she would be able to expand her work.

"I would like to especially address the deaf community, to people with special needs and all of those who feel left behind. You all will be valued," she promised.

Michelle intends to do charity work during her husband's term.

Translated by NATASHA MADOV

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Gustavo Uribe , Joelmir Tavares and Thais Bilenky