lunes, 3 de mayo de 2010

Carolina the hairdresser

“Ay that’s Carolina…isn’t she beautiful?” He touched the paper copy of the photo on the wall, his fingers lingering on her smiling face. “Who is she?” I asked him. “Who WAS she…she was killed 6 months ago right in front of the Procrear office, just a few blocks from here. You see how she’s cutting hair in this photo? I taught her how, when we were in prison together. You see, in prison, our sentences where shortened because we cut people’s hair, we worked. And she had 8 years, which turned to 4 and I had 6 years which turned to 2.” He took a bite of his granola bar and chewed slowly with his few remaining teeth. “Why were you sent to prison? And she?” He swallowed and continued. “Well, I cut someone’s face with a knife. And when you aim for the face, you get more time in prison. She did too, but she was defending herself because someone was robbing her. And then I got out and she did later on. And one day, she was all dolled up, with her long hair, painted nails, everything. And she was standing out side the Procrear office, on the street, and some band of guys stabbed her, repeatedly. For a while, no one came to claim her body, but eventually her family came and buried her on her land.” He placed his hand on the photo, then on his heart. Then he walked to the closet, picked up a broom and swept the trash and dust off the sidewalk.

Like Wanda, Carolina is another transvestite who was killed in broad daylight, just standing on the street. Carolina would come to the Parche and cut street people’s hair every Thursday. Now a new trans girl cuts and the street people leave happily groomed. To how many more will this happen? And how does the news treat these kind of incidences? It would be interesting compare news reports over the years of these kind of hate crimes to see if they have changed at all. In Wanda’s case, the news blamed the violence on street culture, rather than on hate/exclusion against transgenders. Carolina’s murder seems to be another incidence of social cleansing…

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