TDoR 2013 / 2013 / September / 09 / Gabriela Monelli

Gabriela Monelli

Age 21

9 Sep 2013
Porto Ferreira, São Paulo (Brazil)

Gabriela Monelli
Gabriela Monelli [photo:]

Gabriela died by suicide. She was an activist who struggled with living in a transphobic society and being forced to resort to sex work to survive.

Young woman ventured for days and hours before committing suicide: "When we think of suicide, we do not want to end life, but with the pain it causes us to go through"

Think of a trans person. Thought? Do you remember having lived with at least one, whether at university, at your workplace, at the bank or even at the bakery, performing daily activities, which you think are normal? Or did you immediately picture them on a street corner, on a TV show being joked about, or in a beauty parlour? Unfortunately, these activities are the reality of many trans people.

All of their exclusion begins by assuming themselves socially as trans. First, in the family that, in several cases, expels them from their conviviality. They then face a totally adverse situation in the school environment, where neither their name, their gender and their safety are respected by those who should ensure that they remain in school (the state), culminating in their expulsion and the studies. As a result, they are unfit for university studies and lack the qualifications required for entry into the labor market. But this is not the only reason they are marginalized. Even transgender people who do not meet these barriers are not accepted in formal jobs because they are the victims of transphobia of employers who prefer to keep them in social exclusion and nights of prostitution.

Of that, the young Gabriela Monelli knew very well. From the age of 15 years she had to sell her body to live. Gabriela was an activist in social networks and always reported in her blog the discrimination of the transphobic society and its cisnormative requirements. According to friends, what saddened her most was the non-acceptance, the violence she suffered as a sex worker and the impossibility of entering the formal labour market. Gabriela had dreams and fought hard to overcome oppression. She ventured on her blog that despite the violence and humiliation she would not give up. However, oppression and lack of perspective eventually robbed her of the will to give battle against everything and everyone at all times. On September 9, a few days after talking to her friends and her boyfriend about how depressed she was, she committed suicide.

Gabriela's blog is Her death was not recorded on the official TDoR 2013 list released by Transgender Europe (TGEU).


Written by Daniela Andrade

I am also Gabriela Monelli, and I also died with her. We hang ourselves together, and I die a little more every day when another transvestite or transsexual girl is found murdered - by someone else or herself.

I also die every day with the neglect of society towards transvestite and transsexual people, with the lack of importance and the lack of respect that they usually give us.

I also died with all the transvestites and transsexuals who were murdered in the exercise of the profession of sex worker, where the transphobic society is always pushing us and pointing out that this is our place. To once again point us as guilty for prostituting ourselves, where many of us are assaulted by customers, by the pimp, by the police, by the rest of society - after all, they don't consider us people, if it's not people, it's okay to attack.

I also died with all transvestite and transgender people who could not stand the prejudice and daily aggressions in schools, a place where they forbid us to use a bathroom, to have our social name respected, to treat us by the gender that is ours. A place that is not of help to most trans people *, from where we are driven out, and where many can no longer stand to be. It is not easy to go every day to a place where you already know in advance that you will be discriminated against in the most aggressive ways possible.

I also died with all the transvestite and transsexual people who were expelled from the home by the family, families who were never supportive, but synonymous with oppression and daily crushing. On the street, with nowhere to go, often without a place to turn to in search of the much needed support, from someone who considers us people.

I also died with all the transvestite and transsexual people who were trafficked, who were forced to cross borders in the hope of finding a little more dignity, but on the contrary, they lived the hell in which they had to endure the weight of being trans * within a society that never saw us as people.

I also died with all transvestite and transgender people without having the right to a name, being disqualified by Brazilian laws that often deny us this very basic right: to be a citizen, to be respected as people. Needing to wait for the bureaucracy and the delay of those who, most of the time, are not caring if their need to be treated by their social name is urgent. For the genre you actually have, it’s for now.

I also died with all the transvestite and transsexual people who soon discovered that the job market considers us problems, not a solution: that it is up to us only what they have pointed out as "our place": the prostitution tracks or the salons of beauty, and woe to us if we try to escape it. We will be reminded daily that we are violating spaces that do not want us, that see us as an unwanted identity, too abnormal, too sick and too few people. And in this case, it doesn't matter our professional capacity or study background, being trans usually overcomes all of this to make fun of, boycott us: vacancies that disappear, are frozen, have already been filled or simply no longer giving us answers.

I also died with all transvestite and transgender people who, even after they died, did not have their name and gender respected by the media and society. That they were women but were buried like men, that they were men but were buried like women - not even the memory of trans * dead people matters, in the end, for many, we are just another type of gay or lesbian - very gay people very lesbian gays and lesbians, defend many. And little does it matter to them the desire to be treated with dignity and the respect for the self-identification that the person attributed to himself in life.

I also die every time the media takes us once again to make fun of us, criminalize ourselves and treat us like object identities: the wrong bodies, with the wrong names, with the wrong gender, the wrong beings by nature.

I also die every time that anyone who does not go through any of this decides to say that the blame for oppression, transphobia, cissexism is really ours. That we are the victims: no! We don't have to play the victim, we really are social victims of a state that doesn't treat us as people. How many trans * people are there in Brazil? How many transvestites are prostituting themselves? How many committed suicide? How many managed to avoid the bureaucracy and conservatism of the state and managed to change their documents? How many managed to have surgery? How many bitter forever in a row for that? How many manage an endocrinologist and how many fail because there are no professionals who treat the specifics of our cases, taking us as the only resource to self-medication. How many had problems because of that? How many died because of that? How many have had complications in clandestine clinics, where we need to appeal, given that there is no one who serves us, or we need many reports, consultations, requirements to have the right to modify this body according to the most appropriate for us? None of this we know: we are invisible to official statistics, and the government does not know who we are.

I also die when once again they are going to say that trans * women are not women, that we are almost women, almost men, almost people. Always almost, always treated as second-class citizens. I also die when men treat us only as objects of sexual use, inflatable dolls without feeling, without pain, without frustrations, without desires, without life.

I also died with Gabriella, and I die every day along with all the other trans girls * who had no right to continue their lives: too tired to dodge the knife, the bayonet, the pistol, the stone, the spit, sputum, cursing, whispering in the mouth, laughing, scoffing, debauchery, prejudice that makes daily victims.

I also die every day with the various trans * people who say they are in depression and thinking about taking their own life. Who among us didn't think that, doesn't think that? We have no right to be people, to occupy the same space as others. And when they kill us, it’s not just any death, it’s a death with many stab wounds, several shots, so that the coffin is sealed - and all with the authorization of society, which all the time is saying that we don’t serve to be among those considered "normal". That must sweep us out of sight, clean society from the scum we are.

I have daily deaths, some very painful, some that we pretend are not hurting. I cry for transvestite and transsexual people who lost their own lives and I cry for those who are alive but who are often vegetating, automatically following this dark path of those who pass through a portal where stones are thrown from everywhere.

And to my dead and the living I dedicate this moment now, in silence, in consideration of the memory of Gabriella and all the other transvestite and transsexual people who will die and no one will care, to all of us who are dying in silence, in daily doses: surviving at a very heavy cost. They will fill in statistics, often not even for trans women *, but for gay men - because also to have the right to have a respected identity after they are dead, we must have had recognition of being human when alive.

I died, I have died, and I wait patiently for the day to die for a society that never considered me alive. We are dead people, given all the invisibility we suffer for a world that watches through us, only remembering when it is necessary to have another laugh, criminalize someone or associate us with diseases.

Dying for those who know how to live, even if it is in the absolute nothingness, The nothingness that many of us are already very used to.

Report added: 25 Mar 2019. Last updated: 28 Feb 2021

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