Veronica Bolina – and the Danger of Misusing “Transphobia”.

veronica

Many of you may have already seen the shocking images of Veronica Bolina, a transsexual from Sao Paolo, Brasil who has been seen on a number of adult websites. The photos are accompanied by powerful language;

“Transgender woman and model Veronica Bolina was beaten by police in the District of Bom Retiro in São Paulo Brazil, Police then shaved all of her hair off, handcuffed her, stripped her and made her pose for photographers.”

“Police transphobia in Brazil: One picture is worth a thousand words.”

These are shared via social network, with people naturally condemning what seems like another senseless, hate crime perpetrated by the police on a transsexual, in what seems in 2015, like an escalation of violence and deaths aimed at your trans people. In the case of Veronica Bolina though, not all is as it seems and perhaps that picture, did need to be accompanied by some words, to fully explain it.

Veronica Bolina is a model whom we’ve worked with a number of times, always with a fantastic attitude and rather unusually, a Brasilian transsexual woman who was very much into fitness, body building and health, although it did include injecting steroids. It came to a surprise to our producer in Brasil, Louie when he found out she’d started getting involved in drugs such as crack as he hadn’t thought her the type (although he estimates 70% of more of the TS that he works with in Brazil are involved in some form of illegal drugs). Whatever it was – and we can surmise it was the crack, or the steroids – or a combination of the two – or neither, but when Veronica had an argument with an elderly neighbor in the same apartment building, she beat her into a coma and the victim was lucky to survive, although what permanent damage has been done, is yet to be known.

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Now if Veronica was a crack using man – or woman – the story would have ended with her arrest and the relevancy of whether she’s been beaten or not, would have been one of police violence, but because she was a beautiful transsexual, it’s now getting circulated incorrectly, as trans-phobia.

From what I understand, and this is from credible sources who know Veronica personally and are her friends, she fought when getting arrested and looking at some of the claims that;

  • “she had her hair shorn” – she’s wearing a weave in her glamour photos.  In the photo, she’s clearly just been arrested and is handcuffed, unlikely they would have shaved her head in that time.
  • “stripped” – as above, that looks like the shirt has been ripped off during her arrest.
  • “forced to post for photos” – these were newspaper photos taken by a journalist at her arrest.

There is some supposition in the above – but they seem far more likely, then a systematic shaving, forced to strip that the Brazilian authorities are being accused of.

Veronica was taken to prison, where it’s told (still probably under the influence) she started masturbating in front of other prisoners who started to beat her, when the guard tried to remove her, she bit his ear (eventually removing a large portion of it, and holding it in her mouth until she was forced to release it.

ear

Veronica is now in prison.

Nobody deserves to be beaten like that and police should know how to deal with this better, but she’s a big, strong, powerful woman – under the influence of crack (and steroids) who has just beaten someone into a coma.  Whether she struggled under arrest – or whether the damage came later as she bit the guards ear, isn’t the relevant part of the story.  The relevance is that not only did Veronica need to be arrested but that it was absolutely irrelevant that she was trans.   She’s is (was at the time) an out of control asshole, who was a danger to others and I’m surprised she wasn’t shot or hurt more.  I’m not condoning that, but we’ve seen it happen in the US as much as Brasil or anywhere else in the world, when police are involved.

I’m not an apologist for the Brasilian police whom, whether through circumstances or not, are violent and corrupt.   I am however, getting tired of the “white knights” or the “cock bandits” who decide that just because it’s a pretty trans woman committing these crimes, that she is the victim – and support her, I’ve been attacked online already for just telling this story.  Anybody who knows anything about my company or myself, knows that we’d be the first to publish, propagate and speak out against any form of hate crime or trans phobic behavior.

There is a danger of using and accusations of  trans phobia when the facts show themselves to be otherwise.  The photos of showing a beautiful, vibrant, transsexual model juxtaposed with a one of her stripped, short haired and beaten unrecognizable make sensational media copy, click bait and for people to rally around but it devalues the fact that many trans women are singled out, beaten, arrested, humiliated or murdered solely based on their trans status.  This was not the case, in what happened to Veronica Bolina.

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15 Responses to Veronica Bolina – and the Danger of Misusing “Transphobia”.

  1. J.H says:

    Dear writer,

    I really appreciate your story and thank you a lot for clarifying this matter as I knew there was something fishy about this story.

    I met Veronica last year in Sao Paulo while I was staying at the Sheraton. She pulled out a knife and took all the cash I had; eventhough before the incident happened I offered her extra money as she was beautiful.

    Again, thank you very much and please know that I am a regulat subscriber to your personal website and many of your girls.

    Best Regards from Dubai.

    J.

  2. Angelina says:

    It is definitely a sorry state of affairs when the truth surrounding what looks like an atrocity can be so obscured by relatively mainstream journalism. Such I guess is the spring from which the saying comes “don’t believe all you read in the news paper’.
    As for transgender indeviduals life is not, as most people realise all that easy! Aside from transpobia to deal with in daily life there are in most country’s, and it seems especially noticeable in western cultured country’s minimal govt funded service for indeviduals within respective societies catering to assist the various adverse complications ‘gender dysphoria’ can visit on such indeviduals like depression and or alcohol and or drugs taken by many transgenders though not all, to ease either conflict within or coming to terms with their life without! Such I suggest is an area of causation of various public outrageous behaviour exhibited by thankfully a small yet harmfull subset of my fellow Trans be they transgender, Transexual or intrasex!
    If one can condemn the actions of transphobic indeviduals on Transgender… Etc folk truth is what about those Trans indeviduals that pray on other Trans? Personally I have no sympathy there as we are all in the same if not only to familiar boat to cause waves!
    Angelina

  3. Simeon says:

    This is a Brasilia police statements not friends of the transexual.

  4. BROOKE CERDA says:

    So men rape & beat -up women everyday
    but the police doesn’t shave their head.

    Do you really believe Veronica can get
    a fair trial in Brasil ?

  5. Steven says:

    Possibly, possibly not. I believe there is enough media coverage on this that yes, she will get a fair trial. That’s not the point of this article though and a completely different matter.

  6. Steven says:

    The facts that I’ve republished come from both media reports from Brazil AND from people who know her personally and are her friends.

  7. BROOKE CERDA says:

    Thank you for replying Steven,
    let’s say this case alone is a justified response
    from the police.
    But why leak those photos ?

    Those photos were leaked or allowed to be taken only
    to humiliate my entire community.

    The police has been trained to handle worse cases, but
    in this case they obviously didn’t use any of those trainings.

    BODIES ARE NOT GENDER

    Chromosomes and genitals are just that,
    It would be sexist to imply women are
    menstruating baby making machines.

    But the fact remains in 2014,
    113 Transsexual WOMEN were brutally
    murdered in your country. alone.
    Those are only the ones that didn’t get
    missgendered at the morgue like we usually
    are, and are wiped out of history.

    I do question your motives for writing
    this article, specially you denying our
    womanhood so many times, what is it
    to you ?

    Why this intense crusade ?

    I would encourage you to read statistics &
    studies like ‘Injustice at Every Turn’
    from 2011.

    Transexual women of color have been
    left out for decades, denied jobs & housing
    without anyone ever speaking up.

    We are not evil people, but way too often
    we find ourselves with very few options,
    and always forced to do survival jobs.

    Colonial mentalities are the problem.

    I am asking you to please remove this article
    and join our efforts to stop the GENOSIDE
    of Transexual women in Brasil

    yours

    Brooke Cerda
    212 837 1862
    BrookeCerda@gmail.com

    Silence = Death

  8. Steven says:

    Brooke,
    This isn’t a crusade or anything of the such, and if you knew anything about me, you’d know just how wrong you are. I’ve wrote my issue with it, within the blog post, that the facts weren’t getting posted, just “click bait” and the shocking photos. You obviously have taken Veronica’s plight personally – and claiming that this should be removed (censored) simply because she’s transgender, which is my entire point. I don’t believe this incident in itself is a hate crime (she was beaten based on the fact she was transgender).
    I very much doubt you would have even bothered to read or comment on this, should it have been a black man or woman, who had beaten a 70+ yr old woman into a coma while he/she was on crack.
    If transgendered people are going to be accepted as they should, as equals, then we cannot simply twist or support someone simply because they are transgender, while ignoring that this could have happened to any gender.
    I think you’ve got some twisted ideas and your agenda here, isn’t about just this post. So you’ve had your irrelevant babble from your soapbox, but I don’t really have anything to follow up on, unless I get new information from Brazil.

  9. Lucas says:

    I don’t know anything about the writer except what seems to be explicit in this article considering I am from Sao Paulo: he knows nothing about the social background of my country, Veronica or Brazilian police. Regardless of what really happened, nothing can justify so brutal assault against Veronica that obviously involve use of excessive force, humiliation and TRANSPHOBIA from the police. The Writer just forgot all the difficulties and suffering trans people face everyday, everywhere, especially in countries like Brazil, that is the country with the greatest number of murdered trans people in the world! He is feeling sorry for the elderly neighbour. But did he ever think how many times Veronica may have been offended by this woman until she becomes violent with her? How many ears she could rip off while struggling for life? (Note in the picture they leaked… the guard seems to be more pleased to have a ‘wild animal’ immobilized than sad to have lost his ear). People like Veronica living on the edge and her reaction reflects the most different types of abuse and violence she faces everyday. It’s a fucking lie she was beaten by prisoners after masturbating. This sound so stupid for those who know that police history of abuse, violence, corruption and crimes (included Transphobia). The police of Sao Paulo is just cynical and criminal. This is routine, nothing new. What shocked me more was to figured out I was reading this article in a website supposed to support trans people! The writer is so wrong in how he approached the case. Should have more respect for human beings, especially those ones who living marginally and risk their lives to help him make money.
    Just disrespectful!

  10. Steven says:

    Thanks for the comments Lucas. I know only too well about the Brazilian police having been on the end of guns pointed at me twice, for little reason there. I didn’t forget about the murders, the difficulties or the suffering that trans girls go through in Brasil, as I’ve spent so much time both in Sao Paolo and Rio, and still have regular business there – but that’s not the point, and it’s a different conversation. You can’t seriously be justifying Veronica putting an old lady into a coma because she’d been “offended” by her? That’s as disparate comparison as how Veronica was treat by the police. This is the issue with your stance, and the root of my post – you are prepared to take Veronica’s side in this PURELY because she’s a transsexual. You’re not interested in any other aspects of the case other than that. Supporting somebody purely because of their gender status is as dangerous a stance to take against transphobia and hate crimes, as it is to take the opposite position. If we’re looking for true equality, then we need to be level on all areas.
    I have respect for myself and the many girls we work with, to simply kowtow to your beliefs – you are the one that shows no respect and a complete misunderstanding of my points (or you do understand them, but just don’t care about equality).

  11. Tony Soristo says:

    I for one appreciated your clarification of the real facts of this case. On reading the initial article I was becoming outraged at the treatment of this transgendered woman. But in looking at everything in “The Big Picture” I see your point exactly. People shouldn’t be so quick to jump on a Trans phobia bandwagon without getting all the facts. While what did happen to her was horrific, there was a lot more going on behind the scenes that caused her to be injured not “just” because she was transgendered. To label this a case of Trans-phobia IS wrong because she was arrested because she committed a crime. Under the influence, or not she probably resisted. Her size alone would cause an issue if she didn’t want to be arrested. That was the act that probably started the physical altercation with police in which she received her injuries. That has nothing to do with being transgendered as much as resisting arrest and combating police. Thanks for the insight.

  12. Jessica Sparks says:

    This is a bunch of bullshit and lies. She was offered to record an audio stating that the police did not torture her. Why do you think she did that? Because some prisoners beat her when she was masturbating? Yea, right! Like this kind of things happen everyday. There was a woman that killed her own baby and was not beaten or photographed in such a shameful way. It is an obvious case of racism and transphobia. Not only this, but a case of police violence. People that say otherwise are making apology to crime. Brazilian law is based on a sentence of crime, not torture. Such thing is illegal, including taking nude photos of a trans woman beat in the floor like that.

  13. mitesh kumar says:

    I just want to say that it is not good or right to beat Veronica, as the police did also savings of head shows police wants to torture Veronica mantally, as she is a transwomen and clearly this is a hate crime. the police of any nation is capable of handling all kinds of people but shaving head, taking off the cloth of prisoners is not normal. it shows police wants to hurt Veronica both mantally and physicaly.

  14. Dave says:

    I don’t know what to say really. You could come at this from numerous different angles i suppose. The fact is that Veronica attacked a harmless innocent old lady and kicked off with the police when arrested for the terrible incident. Attacking one badly and no matter what country in the world you come from harming a police office is going to result in a beating.
    Putting a transgender women into the main populous of a male prison isn’t the smartest thing to do. As intimating as it is for a man, it would be pretty full on for a ts woman. I’ve never smoked crack, but the effect of the drug would only last so long. From the pictures I’m looking at it appears that she’s in prison. There would have been a transfer period between the incident and prison. That could of been days not hours….you would want to be pretty high to comfortably master-bate in front of a cell full of dudes. Body builder or not on a come down? Being set upon by any number of people and being beaten to the point were your face is disfigure is extremely vicious. A lot of the blows are directed to the face specifically. Her hair was shaved and her top ripped apart so she was left as hurt and vulnerable as possible. This was done in front a crowd. In honesty I reckon Veronica has learnt an extremely harsh lesson in life and regardless of her questionable character I think she will be a different person after the incident and will most definitely struggle to find trust and balance in people again. I think if anything positive should come from the two incidents it should be that a prisoner should be punished fairly for there crime and the processing of ts women within the police/prison system should be reviewed because if she had been processed as female and put into the female system I doubt the injury’s incurred would of been so severe, regardless of her behaviour. It comes down to a simple saying “two wrong’s don’t make a right”. People get drunk and do stupid shit everyday, kill people drink driving. All kinds of retarded shit and they don’t end up like that?

    That’s how i feel personally, not trying to upset anyone. I just feel there should be a review of how & were ts women or men are processed in the system because if the police can carry themselves in that kind of manner for everyone to see. What kind of example does it set for everyone else?

  15. Jackie says:

    For crying out loud are you people dumb? FIRST: Her head WASN’T SHAVED!!!! Do you really think that police carry clippers around with them incase the come across a trans woman? She wears extensions/wigs!!!! It just so happens that she wasn’t wearing them at the time of the altercation!!! SECOND: She was RESISTING arrest AND FIGHTING the police while UNDER THE INFLUENCE!!!! What were the police suppose to do? Just let her kick the crap out of them? We aren’t talking about a small petite woman here people! We are talking about a friggen body builder on STEROIDS!!!!! Not to mention CRACK!!!! You ever try to fight somebody on crack that isn’t a body builder? They don’t feel pain!! So take into account that she was on crack and certainly not feeling much pain, and add in the fact that she could probably bench press two of those cops, and then try to picture the outcome of that fight. Police have the right to use necessary force to subdue a combative person. It just so happens that those cops were going up against an insanely strong individual. THIRD: She WASN’T stripped. When you are involved in a fight of that magnitude where it takes SEVERAL people to subdue you, odds are your shirt is going to get ripped in the process. I’ve been in MANY fights myself, (I was a real dick in my early years) and in few cases I’ve had articles of my clothing ripped or torn. She’s not naked, she’s shirtless. When you are trying to fight SEVERAL people, there’s a good chance your shirt is going to get torn off. FORTH: They didn’t strip her and make her pose for photos. That’s just idiotic to think that at all. She was cuffed and seated. That’s not posed people, that’s just cuffed and seated. They DIDN’T allow anyone to take photos. During things like that the press just shows up and starts clicking away snapping pictures. How is that the cops fault? That type of thing is the norm when there’s a huge ordeal involving police. You see it all the time! There’s a big ordeal happening, the press catch wind of it, they show up, AND THEY TAKE FREAKING PICTURES!!!!!!!!! If it wouldn’t have been a trans woman it wouldn’t have been an issue at all! BOTTOM LINE: When you CHOOSE to beat a senior citizen into a coma, and when you CHOOSE to fight and be combative with police, and you CHOOSE to fight a GROUP of people, police officer or not, you can EXPECT to get your ass beat! Trans, male, female, it doesn’t effing matter! That’s what happens. Steve can correct me if I’m wrong here, but I’m pretty sure that all he was trying to say is that the media left out HALF the damn story and focused ONLY on the fact that it was a transgendered woman that was involved in order to sensationalize the story to sell papers and have a “good” story to broadcast on the evening news. And that type of bullshit only takes away from REAL stories of transgendered individuals being beaten for no reason other than being transgendered. Some of you people really need to wake the heck up and see this for what it really is, which is a sensationalized and fabricated story filled with half truths, blatant lies, and not a whole lot more! Thank God almighty that I don’t have your job Steve, because I’d go bat shit crazy real quick lol!

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