Eduarda PinheiroAge 41
14 Jan 2020
Altopascio, Lucca (Italy)
Eduarda died in hospital a day after setting herself on fire in her apartment. She had been struggling to pay the rent and was being threatened with eviction.
ALTOPASCIO. Her heart stopped beating yesterday morning at 10.30, at the burn center of the Cisanello hospital. The injuries, about eighty percent of the body, reported in the fire that she herself, according to first reports, caused, were too serious. A mad, desperate gesture, the epilogue of a difficult life, marked by very bitter experiences.
According to her [birth certificate], Eduarda was born in Recife, Brazil, forty-one years ago. For years, nobody has been able to reconstruct how long, she was in Italy. She lived in Altopascio in an apartment building in via Torino. She was a transsexual girl; a shy girl who led her life in a very reserved way. Other trans girls who live in the same area knew her, but superficially, precisely because of her character and her choice of life. Perhaps she also avoided the difficulties she had to face every day, including economic ones. In March 2019 she had received an eviction notice: who knows if she had been able to fully understand what was reported in the document, written in terms of judicial jargon.
She had never asked for help, though. Neither to the services of the municipal administration of Altopascio, nor to the Transgeneral Consultancy of Viareggio, the reference point of many girls like her. She had desperately tried to do it alone. Until the late morning of Monday 13 January, just before the bailiff rang the doorbell with the executive order for her eviction. In those last moments, in the awareness that she would lose even her only safe refuge, Eduarda was overwhelmed by despair. "One way to kill a witch" was her last message, at 12:39, on Facebook. She opened the gas pipes, the fire broke out, which undermined her life and endangered that of other tenants. Another twenty-four hours of agony, then it was all over.
A tragedy that bears the name of lack of empathy, indifference, blindness.
Eduarda Pinheiro I got to know her, to spend pleasant evenings together with her.
We laughed together.
"An eccentric, strange person ...." (so she was described). I don't remember her just for this (because she was also wonderfully herself in the way of putting herself) but more because she was always smiling, and always had a joke ready.
She was always strong in the face of the adversities she had to face.
And a diamond she really was.
Strong as a diamond.
Fragile and delicate like a diamond.
She was human, unlike many.
Hello little witch.
We'll meet somewhere to do that ride together on the broom.
Eduarda's Facebook profile is https://www.facebook.com/eduarda.pinheiro.50702.