Thursday, March 17, 2011

Trans Murder Rocks Brazil

Brazil is the largest country on the South American continent.  It is not only one that is fast becoming an emerging economic powerhouse, they hope the upcoming 2014 World Cup soccer tournament and the 2016 Olympics will demonstrate that fact to the world.

Brazil is also one of the largest nations to have a female president in Dilma Roussef.

Brazil has another distinction it's not proud of.  It is a very dangerous place to live if you're a transwoman.

Brazil is Roman Catholic, and thanks to the hate speech against transpeople implanted into the Vatican by its former advisor Paul McHugh and disseminated from Pope Benedict XVI, hate crimes and violence against transpeople in Catholic countries such as Brazil has spiked up.

According to local TBLG rights groups in the country, there were over 250 murders in Brazil last year involving TBLG people.   One of the names we'll probably be reciting later this year at the Transgender Day of Remembrance is Priscila Brandao. 

Priscila's mother wanted her trans child to have a better life than pursuing sex work in the mean streets of Belo Horizonte, so a year ago she asked her brother in law to give her a job.     

Just eight months earlier before her life was cut short the 22 year old transwoman was interviewed with her mother expressing a bold hope for the future and a determination that she would succeed at her job as a mattress store manager in Belo Horizonte.

Now she's dead, shot seven times by three men as the crime was caught on surveillance tape.   One of the men has been arrested..

(trigger alert for violence)

A hate crimes law has been proposed in Brazil, and activists in the country are pushing President Rousseff to support its passage.

It won't bring Priscila back, but it's a step in reminding Brazilians that all its citizens are valuable, including its trans ones.

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