Gisberta Salce and the celebration of trans lives

#direitostrans #LGBT #queer #translivesmatter #gisbertasalce #imigrante #porto


Betina Juglair

2/22/20222 min read

February 22 is a sad day: 16 years ago, in Porto, Gisberta Salce died, a trans woman, a Brazilian immigrant, victim of transphobia and abandonment.

Like so many people (including those who are writing to you at this moment) Gisberta came to Portugal in search of better living conditions, even though she encountered violence in the country she expected to be welcomed. The trans women’s life expectancy in Brazil is 35 years (half the national average), and we did not find equivalent data in Portugal - the lack of data is also symbolic of the neglect and lack of interest in public policies focused at the LGBTQIA+ population .

In 2006 it was Gisberta Salce, in 2021 it was Angelita Correia: after being missing for 10 days (without having been publicized by the media), she was found dead on a beach in Matosinhos. Also a trans woman, also a Brazilian immigrant, her last text message read: “I think I was kidnapped. I remembered everything. I'm scared of everything."

Gisberta loved to dance and laughed a lot, in the bars of Porto she dressed as Marylin Monroe without needing a wig. She liked having coffee with her friends and had two dogs. Angelita was a fitness and dance instructor, had an easy laugh and was very outgoing. Married for 3 years, loved by family and friends, with whom she went out and had fun.

Gisberta and Angelita could have been any of us, any of us could have been Gisberta and Angelita.

There is no room for those who have the courage to be themselves in a transphobic society: they end up on the margins, if not an abandoned lifeless body. We won't forget them, they are still with us.