Rest in Power Dandara dos Santos

Last night, and this morning, we’ve seen news reports being shared about the horrific murder of Dandara dos Santos, a transwoman in Brazil. These news reports are including the atrocious video of her murder. Because of how distressing the video is we are not going to share it. But we cannot ignore Dandara’s murder, so we respond to it now.

It is saddening to not only hear of another murder of a trans person but to see one of our sisters killed, I cannot describe how I feel. Dandara was 42, she was murdered just for being herself. Brazil’s Trans Network have said she was the fifth trans person to be murdered in Brazil in February alone.

We’re seeing a disgusting rise in the amount of murders, hate crime, and violence against transgender people. This is fuelled by the rise in hate speech peddled on our TV Programmes, Online, and in our Newspapers. Those who speak against our rights will often claim freedom of speech, or call it “an important debate”, but when those speeches or those “debates” lead to people getting dragged out of their homes and murdered, it is not about freedom of speech, it is about preventing people inciting violence.

Transgender Day of Remembrance may be a while away yet, with it being held on the 20th of November, but we will remember Dandara today, and every day in the fight for trans rights.

I can only hope that Dandara has now found peace. I feel sorry for her family and friends who have lost someone close to them. I feel sorry for the other trans people who face violence, hate, and the risk of murder. I will continue to fight, we will continue to fight. We deserve to be safe.

Aimee Challenor
Chair of LGBTIQA+ Greens