Written and illustrated by Priyanka Raval. Interview, research, edits and photography by Matteo Trevisan.

Meet Leila Pereira a.k.a Leila Daianis. She is a Brazilian actor, director and campaigner based in Rome, who has passionately advocated for LGBT rights in South/Central America and Europe. A transgender woman herself, she uses her own experiences and struggles to inform her tireless fight for the empowerment of others.

Leila is the founder of the Libellula Theatre Company, where she has directed and performed in numerous productions. Her work explores topics such as immigration, women’s rights and trans-gender issues and blends them with philosophical musings on sexuality and existentialism. For her, the stage is used to instruct, to make visible the deepest and most suppressed facets of society.

Off-stage, Leila has supported asylum seekers through hearings at the UNHCR, works at the ‘Roxanne Project’ – a safe house for the victims of the sex trafficking in Rome, and is a member of the Association of Brazilian Women in Italy where she collaborates with ‘Casa Internazionale delle Donne a Roma’ to campaign for women’s rights.

Her dedication and commitment to improving the lives of others is truly inspirational. Not to mention that throughout all this, Leila brings a passion, kindness and resonating spirituality. She brings herself wholeheartedly to her work and those she works with.

There are so many incredible kick-ass women in the world, stepping up, speaking out and inspiring others with the work they do. Many who are visible, and many who are not. With this project we want to highlight grassroots female role models. So we want to hear from you! Who are the women in your life who makes you think, ‘yeah thats possible’! Women who have started businesses, projects, are fighting for a cause, are making their voices heard. Send us a photo and a small story celebrating the role model in your life to brushandbowinfo@gmail.com and we will turn this into an illustrated piece!

This series is in collaboration with Nomadways