by Bruno Cetira, D&I Leader, IPG DXTRA
November 20th is not only Brazil’s Black Consciousness Day, but it is also International Transgender Remembrance Day – a lesser-known day for most people here. Why do we often lose the chance to remember and honor our fellow trans peers that are no longer here? In 2020, 175 trans people were brutally murdered in Brazil, with a 41% increase compared to 2019. These numbers are vastly underreported because we do not have a good tracking system so the reality of these numbers could be much worse.
The majority of people that suffer from this violence are Black women and travestis*, so it is ironic that both dates fall on November 20. Brazil is also the highest rated country for consuming trans-related pornography. The fetishization of minorized people is nowhere near uncommon, and the results are always catastrophic. The vast majority of trans women and travestis have no access to basic education and have to resort to prostitution to survive. Their life expectancy is less than 35 years old, not even half of the general Brazilian population.
Brazil is officially responsible for 41% of all transgender murders in the world, and it keeps breaking its own record, so how can we help stop this vicious reality?
International Transgender Remembrance Day is a good time for us to reflect on this topic and take action. While I do not identify as a transgender person, I need to act as an ally, as should we all.
Protect our trans youth, our trans POC, our travestis. Remember the names of Vitória Rodrigues, Pietra Valentina, Kelly Alves, Keron Ravach, Crismilly Pérola, to name a few, that were brutally murdered in 2021. These young women had no protection from authorities and most of them did not have support from their families. We need to build a support system for them in our families, in our social circles and in our workplaces. Only when they have better opportunities and living conditions can they achieve their full potential and be remembered while they are still alive.
*Travestis identify as femme transgender people but not necessarily as trans women. This feminine identity is particular to Latinx population due to its sociopolitical resistance background as the word travesti was a curse word to refer to the feminine transgender population, but has been reclaimed and resignified.