COVID-19 Crisis Badly Affects Global Prostitution, Sex-Worker Said ‘I will Die of Hunger if Clients are Not Found’
Mumbai : The most impact of coronavirus lockdown is on sex workers, especially on transgender sex workers. The streets of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, are empty and roads are deserted. People are staying away from each other due to social distancing. Brazil is already considered the most dangerous country in terms of transgender.
Due to lack of customers and income, trans sex workers are facing many serious challenges here. 44-year-old Elba Tavrej of north-eastern Brazil says, ‘You can see empty roads, closed shops and a declining economy. I am no longer in that race of prostitution but yes, I still do this work. There are very few customers here now.’
Due to fear and partiality in Brazil, many transgender bodies are forced to trade, but this path is not easy for them. Elba Tavrej says, ‘Only those who are strong here can be alive and I am very weak. Being poor and transgender makes me more vulnerable. Though even if I were not poor, but still trans, this discrimination would have continued.’
According to ‘Transgender Europe’, an organization working for transgender, there are many movements for these people in Brazil, but it is still one of the most dangerous countries in the world for transgender people. This country has the highest rate of murder of transgenders in the whole world.
Facing the challenge of COVID-19, Elba says, ‘We are getting a little help from the government but that is not enough. There is a lot of crime and corruption here and government efforts to curb them are very less. Elba has lived in Rio de Janeiro for 20 years. Elba says that most of his clients are men.
26-year-old Stephanie Gonclave is a trans sex worker in southeastern Brazil. Stephanie says that life has become very difficult after the corona virus spread in Rio. She says, ‘It is really difficult because there is almost no one on the road … I am a sex worker and it is very terrible for me. I still go out in search of a customer because if I don’t go to my work, I will die of hunger. ‘
Stephanie says, ‘I have never done anything other than sex work. Thankfully, there are some people here who understand our helplessness and give me food. Although such people are very few. Stephanie said, ‘Due to being transgender, there were no less difficulties for us earlier and now it is even more. The danger of corona is more to us, so now I am at home.’
Many organizations working for the LGBT community are arranging food for these people. These organizations are also giving other work option to the sex worker transgender living at home. Some of these transgenders are now working from home to make face masks.