Summer brought a glitter ball of worldwide Pride events, and in Brazil they held the biggest Pride going. However looking past the partying, we sometimes forget about the day-to-day bravery of transgender people, and the discrimination they face.
Our world has yet to take those accepting steps towards equality, and finally turn its back on discrimination. In ‘accepting’ LGBT countries, the murder of trans women is still rising, and in Brazil abuse is a daily occurrence.
In Brazil there is no word for transgender people – it is just ‘transvestite’, which is also the word used to discriminate against trans women.
Although Brazil has laws in place to protect the trans community, in practice people say and do otherwise. Trans women are freely ridiculed in the media, and in TV ‘novellas’, the nations favorite viewing, they are stereotyped as a comedy fool or street prostitute.
This prejudice doesn’t stop there, it runs deep. Families often see trans family members as a disgrace, leaving them without support and homes. The educational system and foster homes discriminate as well.
According to Grupo Gay da Bahia, every two days a LGBT person is brutally murdered in Brazil. According to the statistics only 2% of these attackes were aimed at lesbians. Most of them are on trans people.
The problem is that people do not report such crimes. In general Brazil’s police is rather weak in the face of the large scale of crimes and corruption, as well as their own prejudices. In fact, a large amount of hate crimes in Brazil are initiated by the police. This often prevents people from reporting them at all.
The largest crime committed is rape of lesbian women. If the woman comes forward the crime will never be seen as homophobia, but solely as rape by definition.
The truth is, Brazil is far less accepting than people think. The law may seem friendly, but people continue to discriminate and commit hate crimes again the LGBT community.