Portugal: Transphobia Kills Again – International Call for Action
Transphobia kills again: international call for action!
Two years after the brutal murder of Gisberta, in Oporto, another transsexual woman was murdered and her body placed in a rubble dumpster in the Lisbon area last month.
Other crimes followed, shocking the country. However, the surge of violence cannot hide neither the victims nor the nature of these crimes. This is the case of Luna, 42, partially deaf, of Brazilian origin, for many years resident and worker in Portugal, prostitute at Conde de Redondo area (in Lisbon).
Two years after Gisberta, transsexual people are still targets for hatred and violence based on prejudice and ignorance. The crime is under investigation and under justice secret, so we know very few about its circumstances or about its motivation; we hope the investigation undertaken by the Police can provide answers.
Nevertheless, we know that transphobia kills and that trans people are more prone to suffer violence than the majority. We know prostitution is often a job for those who have no other way of earning a living, and that it is hard
to have a gender different from the one your body suggests. We know prejudice and discrimination are pervasive, that ignorance feeds hatred and generates violence. We know the State, society, all of us, have responsibilities towards the deadly victims, and mainly towards all those other people in whose life the fight for survival coexists with fear and the risks that cause it.
Luna was born a woman although her body suggested otherwise; her body, masculine, didn’t fit her identity. She was being followed at Hospital de Santa Maria by the multidisciplinary team in charge of helping trans people change their bodies; she had projects, wishes and frustrations just like anyone else. She was dear to some people and maybe wished to go back to Brazil, where her family lives. Luna was a woman who fought against many obstacles and, according to newspapers, died victim of great violence, possibly fed by hatred, prejudice and ignorance. Her body was left in a dumpster, hidden by rubble and dust, as if it was garbage, as if her life had not been worth living.
Like all potential victims, trans people need forms of protection that guarantee equality of opportunities and the possibility of a dignified life.