Transgender star Carmen Carrera is revealing why she is determined to bring attention to the situation of trans women in Brazil.
Model and actress Carmen Carrera says that she does not view herself as either a “trans actor” or “trans model.” She does admit that this is part of who she is but asserts that it is not the sole definition of who she is.
While the entertainment industry has been slow on the uptake where transgender people are concerned Carrera is plowing ahead with the hope that this will soon change. She admits to feeling a responsibility to utilize her platform to advocate for acceptance in the United States and to draw attention to the sometime dire situation of trans women in South America.
In the first episode of a new travel documentary series, called Outpost, Carrera travels to the world’s most dangerous place to be a transgender: Brazil. “I never thought about myself as privileged until I came here,” Carrera says in the documentary.
The Trans Murder Monitoring Project has revealed that there have been 868 reported murders and trans people in Brazil between 2008 and 2016. This is more than twice the figure for Mexico and nearly six times as many reported trans murders as in the United States over the same time frame.
The Daily Beast reports that in addition to violence against trans people, Brazil also sees an extraordinary amount of anti-gay violence. Carrera says that one problem is a lack of attention in the United States to the epidemic of transphobic violence in Brazil.
The country’s anti-transgender violence got international media coverage earlier this month when a cellphone video showing a group of men beating a transgender women before carting her body away in a wheelbarrow began circulating on social media. But the recurring everydayness of this violence, Carrera says, gets buried in a general inattention to international news.
“Unless it’s ‘major news’ or a catastrophe or something terrible that happens, we’re not focused on what people are going through because most of us are just unaware of what’s happening,” she said.
For her part, Carrera is actively engaging in activism in the United States. Following the Trump administration’s withdrawal of protections for trans students Carrera wrote a Cosmo op-ed in which she says that “the move sends a message to kids that we need to be segregated and that certain people shouldn’t have the same rights as everyone else.”
Furthermore, Carrera maintains that her activism is not only a personal responsibility, but a necessity compelled by the current cultural stigmas that surrounds transgender people. “If people can understand me and accept me as a woman, I’m going to get booked for more jobs. It all works hand in hand.”
(Information sourced from TheDailyBeast.com)