Genderqueer Student Murdered and Burnt in Rio Favela

Published May 9, 2018 by Nan Mykel

 

The killing of Matheus Passareli, who went by the name “Theusa” and refused to be categorized as either male or female, plunged Rio’s LGBTQI community into mourning on Brazil’s social network feeds.

Theusa, a bohemian figure studying at the Rio de Janeiro State University, was well-known in the community, which encompasses lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, and intersex people born with any of several variations in sex characteristics.

On Monday, Theusa’s brother Gabriel Passareli, who also identified as genderless, said in a Facebook message that police had notified the family that Theusa’s body “was burned and there is little chance of finding solid evidence” of who carried out the murder.

“I am sorry to have chosen to be so carefree in the face of so much cruelty that my sister and myself… were exposed to,” wrote the sibling, who goes by the name Gabe. The post added that the family had retreated to their hometown in rural Rio de Janeiro state for their grieving.

Theusa’s murder came less than two months after the slaying of Marielle Franco, a black city councillor in Rio and a lesbian who fought against racism and lobbied for rights for the LGBTQI community and favela residents.

RELATED:
Brazil: Public Security Cameras En Route to Marielle Franco’s Home Were Turned Off Before Assassination

Although the LGBTQI community is relatively tolerated in big urban centers in Brazil, the country has one of the highest murder rates of homosexuals in the world.

In 2016, 343 people were killed in crimes linked to their sexual or gender orientations, according to the Bahia Gay Group, an association active in promoting the community’s rights.

 

 

 

2 comments on “Genderqueer Student Murdered and Burnt in Rio Favela

  • I am so saddened by this violence, and with a heavy heart I thank you for sharing this, the world needs to face these attacks and open their hearts and minds. Those of us who are transgender or similar spend much of our lives not feeling like we live, and to have life attacked just for expressing who we are cannot be tolerated

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