With the media flocking to cover news aside from the World Cup in Brazil, news outlets and publications would do well to keep in mind the brutal situation for transgender individuals in the Roman Catholic nation.
Brazil has a reputation for being a trans-friendly country with several trans models and actors/actresses as well as trans medical healthcare coverage, but evangelical influences also fuel anti-trans prejudice that has resulted in a spike in anti-trans violence rates.
Grupo Gay da Bahia, a Brazilian advocacy group, has tracked anti-LGBT violence in Brazil noting a 21% increase from 2011 to 2012 and has found that 44% of the entire world’s anti-LGBT violence occurs in Brazil alone. The Global Rights report of 2013 indicates that trans Brazilians account for more than half of the 300 reported LGBT murder victims and that 52% of them were people of color.
The report also indicates seven major areas that Afro-descendant trans women, in particular, face:
- Racial discrimination/harassment in the form of hate speech
- Transphobic and racial violence including sexual harassment and brutal attacks
- Police violence in the form of threats, arbitrary detentions, inhumane or degrading treatment, and even torture
- Inadequate access to education
- Inadequate access to employment
- Inadequate access to healthcare due to racial disparities
- Lack of legislative protections. Just this past December, Brazilian lawmakers killed a bill that would outlaw discrimination of gender identity or sexual orientation.
Global Rights’ Carlos Quesada has said of the country's situation:
If there is a country in the world that has made efforts in combating racial discrimination, it is Brazil. In spite of these efforts to promote human rights, the reality in the country is different.
Help Brazil fight for equality, starting by checking out GLAAD's #StopTheSlurs campaign, and by refusing to allow this cruelty to continue.