‘If I don’t have sex I’ll die of hunger’: Covid-19 crisis for Rio’s trans sex workers
Brazil is one of the world’s most dangerous countries for transgender people. For trans sex workers, the pandemic has intensified the risk
- All photographs by Ian Cheibub
Social distancing is keeping people off the streets of central Rio de Janeiro. And that has created serious challenges for its trans sex workers, who have seen their clientele, and their income, melt away.
“You can see what it’s like: empty streets, shops closed, the fallen economy ” says Elba Tavares, 44, from Paraíba state in north-east Brazil. “I am no longer in that rush of prostitution but yes, I sell my body.” But, she says: “There are very few customers.”