The pandemic isn’t easy for anyone. For instance, the trans-sex worker community in central Rio de Janeiro seems to have taken a severe beating ever since the viral outbreak spiraled out of control and the lockdown was imposed.

Despite having sturdy civil society organizations and trans movements in place, transphobia is one of the main issues that continue to plague Brazil. The struggles have intensified with the outbreak, pushing the weak to indigence.

“Only the strong survive, and I’m not one of the strongest. I’m one of the weakest,” said Elba Tavares, a 44-year-old sex worker to a media outlet. She hails from Paraíba state in north-east Brazil. “And weaker for being poor and for being trans. Even if I was trans and had something, the same discrimination would be there,” Tavares added.

She also believes the catastrophic outcome of the pandemic has pushed several of her kind to homelessness.  Thinking along similar lines, Stefany Gonçalves, 26, a trans-sex worker from Espírito Santo state in south-eastern Brazil, adds how despite the ghastly reality, she is forced to go out and work in order to sustain. “It’s really difficult because there’s almost nobody on the street ... I work as a prostitute, so what happens? It’s terrible,” said Goncalves. “I still go out, I still have sex, because if I don’t, I’ll die of hunger,” she added.

The silver lining, however, has come in the form of donations -- something that’s she’s truly grateful for. “Thank God there are people who see this. I got basic food donations. There are people who are doing a little,” she said while enthusing how she’s also received an additional emergency payment of £90 from the government. The payment is part of the monthly plan laid out by the government.

The murder rate for Brazil’s trans community is the highest in the world, compounded by the gory discrimination meted out to members of the community, who often take to a life of sex work to sustain themselves.

The deplorable conditions of the sex worker community in Brazil have led to the founding of a fundraising campaign -- that aids in the daily support of sex workers.

Through the distribution of food and hygiene supplies living in and around the Lapa district of Rio de Janeiro.  Things are however, far from easy for the trans population in Brazil as they grapple under miseries that the novel coronavirus brought to light.

LGBT Flag LGBT Flag proudly waving in the air. Shutterstock