The Brazilian State of São Paulo in partnership with the São Paulo City Metro (Underground) launched yesterday a campaign to combat homophobia entitled: “See beyond prejudice. Respect differences.”

Its objective is to increase respect towards, and decrease discrimination against, LGBT people living in South America’s most populous city. The first stage of the project aims to combat discrimination and prejudice against transgender people, as well as dissemination of a law that punishes homophobic behaviour and discrimination within the State of Sao Paulo.

All 58 underground stations are covered with bright posters that have pictures of transgender women with the tile: “Look, Look again, and see beyond prejudice. I am trans, I have the right to be who I am.”

Last year, in May 2011, a trans woman won a landmark case against São Paulo Metro, by means of this law, which forced the company to pay R$ 87,250 (about £32,000) in damages after a member of its staff was found guilty of homophobic verbal abuse against the victim.

São Paulo hosts the world’s largest biggest celebration of gay culture in a pride festival in June. Marchers through South America’s biggest city come together to dance in the street, condemn homophobia and demand equal rights.