Trans people and their history
Today is the trans visibility day, and to celebrate I think that was a good idea to write about my personal experience being trans, that honestly, it was not easy at all.
Back when I was a kid I didn’t know, I didn’t even think about that, even that time I consider myself part of the lgbtqia+ club and thinking about that now I realize I didn’t notice because I was too feminine, and it wasn’t because of the people from the back that forced me to be feminine, I liked to be feminine, I enjoy and was what I was, and that time I was a little kid, like eight or nine, so I used to think that being feminine was enough to be considerate a woman.
And for the longest time I denied who I was, consider myself even a lesbian for three years. It was dark time I could tell.
But then the pandemic exploded and I started to spend more time with myself and there was no way that I could run, I talk to the psychologist that I used to go and she said to search more before labeling myself. But something inside me started to burn since the idea appeared in my mind, I just know that was the right thing, that was who I am.
But more that I search more anxious I was, cause I live in Brazil, the country that more kill trans people in the world, this fact started live in my head all the time, I was so fucking scare, scare to be myself, scare of suffering prejudice, cause I was just thirteen, I didn’t know how to defend myself.
Then on the eve of the lgbtqia+ pride day, a trans woman was burned alive in Recife in the south of Brazil, her name was Roberta Nascimento and was burned by a teenager on the Cais of Santa Rita, one of the important bus terminals of Recife on Brazil. She was living in the streets when suffering the violence, And stayed in the hospital fifteen days, treated with masculine pronouns by the social assistants and stayed for some time on the male ward. She had two arms amputated and then she died on a Friday, on the nine of July.
I stayed devastated for months, still, in this times Its a hard thing for me to speak about it, I felt like I lose one of my parent’s cause as a trans person, she was one of us, and if one of us suffer something all of us suffer together.
Searching a little bit I could find some things. The history of Xica, the first travesti (a latine female identity) of Brazil, her name was Xica Manicongo, and her first evidence was after a survey on the city of Lisbon in Portugal. Xica was dressed in a cloth tied with a knot in the front, similar to the clothing of the Quimbanda (Bandu term for ‘’inverted’’ or ‘’curator’’) and her last name was a title used by the rulers of the Kingdom of Congo that was used to refer to their lords and their deities. We can translate her name as Queen or Royal of Congo
Come to Brazil because of slavery she was in front of her time, she was resistant against the annulment she suffered against her gender identity, denied to wear masculine clothes cause was against the traditions of its origin, when she assumed the feminine identity and lived like a cudina (Congo deity witch may be equivalent to a decolonial identity). She lived in Salvador and was working as a shoemaker she became an imposing figure throughout Cidade Baixa.
Suffocated by the social pressure of the environment in which she lived and trying to escape the death penalty, Manicongo was forced to deny her identity and live under the constant surveillance of the Church. Until the end of the 20th century, Xica was still considered homosexual (mistakenly) by survey takers, which for decades erased the possibility of the existence of travestis in Colonial Brazil.
Burning living travestis is a practice that refers to the legal text of Colonial Brazil when the destiny prescribed for trans persons was the bonfire. The case of Xica became centuries later a decolonial symbol. She needed to wear men’s clothes for the rest of her life to escape the flames of inquisition.
The intention with the use of fire was avowed to transform ‘’the condemned to dust so that there can never be a memory of his body and grave’’.
Xica and Roberta are history’s that never, NEVER, can be forgotten and can’t ever be erased, the start to now almost nothing change, the country that most kill trans people still burn us as it does in 1500, but I can feel that slowly things are changing, even with baby steps.
Now in my fifteens years old, I still don’t know how to defend myself, but I’m trying to be strong, for me, for Roberta, and for Xica.