24 Images of Trans Women From the Most Dangerous Place in the World
Abaixa que é tiro
"The life expectancy of a trans woman or transvestite in Brazil is 35 years old." -- Camila Falcao
The following photos are from the series "Abaixa que e tiro" by Brazilian photographer Camila Falcao.
Brazilian photographer Camila Falcão brings her subjects into a safe, welcoming environment. Pictured: Kiara
"I used to think I would be a painter because I started painting when I was 10, but in college (I have a Bachelor Degree in fine arts) teachers from video art and photography departments started paying more attention to my work, it was then that I realized that I have the ability to express myself in these medias and I started to dedicate myself more to photography." -- Camila Falcao
"I used to be a volunteer at CRD (Center for Reference in Defense of Diversity), in Sao Paulo, and thanks to this job I was in constant and direct contact with many transgender women and transvestites. After some time I realized the enormous diversity between them, all those possibilities of expressing the feminine enchanted me and I saw there an opportunity to do a relevant work by bringing this plurality to the surface, contributing to the deconstruction of stereotypes and, above all, to the construction of new and more realistic perception of these women."
"I live in the most transphobic society in the planet, there were 163 transphobia murders in Brazil only in 2018. Brazil is also the country that consumes most pornography with this population, so as you can figure, we live in a pretty sick society when it comes to gender and sexuality. The life expectancy of a trans woman or transvestite in Brazil is 35 years old. The majority of these people broke up with the family and failed to complete their studies because they had to work and fight for survival, so unfortunately 90% of them work as prostitutes. The degree of social invisibility of trans people in Brazil is so great that there are no official studies or data that can map this segment across the country in order to promote human rights policies, in the fight against violence, and in the creation of State Public Policies to meet the due demands, which are many."
"So, when I started thinking about making this project viable, I thought it was important to get them out of the context of the streets, put them in a domestic environment and photograph them with natural light, I felt they needed to be humanized and that was my way of making that happen. Another conscious choice was to only photograph bodies without surgical intervention, precisely to show their natural beauty and prove that it is not necessary to have any type of surgery to be a woman. Bodies that have been transitioning for some time, bodies that are not going to change but are still bodies of women, women with penises, with or without breasts -- many possible women. I invite people to ask themselves: Does simply passing as a woman define being one?"
"Being a transvestite in Brazil is above all resistance, especially now that we have just elected an extremely prejudiced president, but there's a whole new generation of Brazilian trans women and transvestites fighting for rights, visibility, and dignity, and I'm very proud to be an ally."