133 deaths mourned by Brazil TDOR 2016 that’s more than all of Europe combined, since record keeping began.
This year we made a commitment to report on the violence committed against Brazilian transgender peoples. And we have reported on these crimes as the rest of the world seems them, often in horrific graphic detail.
We know that posting about Brazil’s violence in this way has driven away hundreds of our readers, just look at the shares now, compared to the beginning of the year. But this must be done.
This isn’t list couldn’t possibly include every murder or socially induced suicide. The Brazilian media routinely misgenders transgender victims using their birth names which often makes the discovery of their deaths difficult if not impossible. In order to honor those victim’s authentic gender, we abbreviate all but the last names of victims who were disrespected in death.
Every third day on the average a Brazilian transgender human is shot, hanged, or burnt alive. But the murders are never committed methodically, they come on waves sometimes 3 or 4 in a day. And they aren’t tracked by any national agencies so in reality if it were not for LGBT organizations no one would know, much less care.
This list does not portend to be exclusive. We have used cutting-edge technology in this post and have stumbled a few times, regretfully missing the 20th of November target date. There has been so many murdered, but we included all even if it was just an image on social media and here’s why.
Brazilian news and blogs routinely misidentify the victim’s gender, use their birth names and classify most as anything but an act of transphobia.
But thanks to Editor Eduarda Santos and Rede Trans, a Brazilian advocacy group, the media’s horrific treatment of trans victims has changed significantly in the past year. We see more news reports correctly identifying transgender victims. And even some firsts, such as the ground-breaking prosecution under Brazil’s newly adopted femicide law named in honor of Maria da Penha..
Our Brazilian trans community needs to find a way out of this transphobic abyss. So many are murdered because they are involved in high-risk activities such as prostitution and drugs. Some would argue that decision to engage in these activities was a free choice. But more often not it’s anything but a choice, but out of desperation and the only way to find income.
Many trans people find themselves homeless in their teens, ostracized by the Catholic church, shunned by society and unemployable. Finding a refuge in the lawlessness underworld is the last, but sadly short-lived alternative.