Group 8

Working a Deserted Corner: The Struggles of Brazilian Trans Sex Workers in the Midst of Covid-19

Ellie Osterholt and Gabby Scorti

[player id=103]

Based on the story of Elba Tavares, this podcast explores the importance and the risk of sex work for many trans women in Brazil. Prostitution is legal in the country, but for large number of trans sex workers it is the only work option available. The current Covid-19 pandemic has not only disrupted their only source of income, but also increased their risk of infection.  Similar to what they experienced during the AIDS crisis of the 1980s and 90s, Covid-19 puts trans sex workers’ lives at risk as they walk on the streets in fear of contracting the disease, all while having to worry about keeping themselves alive. t.

Further Reading 

ABCNews. “Brazil Surpasses US as New Epicenter of COVID Cases l ABC News.” YouTube, YouTube, 28 May 2020,

“Brazil: Five Centuries of Change.” Brazil Five Centuries of Change,

Foundation, Thomson Reuters. “As Latin America Locks down, Trans Sex Workers Struggle to Survive.”,

Foundation, Thomson Reuters. “Homophobic Remarks by Brazil’s President May Harm Tourism Industry.”,

Jamal, Alfea. “Brazil LGBTQ Group Hides from Coronavirus in Copacabana’s Casa Nem Building.” Hindustan Times, 14 July 2020,

Madrugada by reiswerk (c)  copyright 2019 Licensed under a Creative Commons 

Sub Javo Bubble by Panu (Featuring Subliminal and Javolenus) © copyright 2020 under ccMixter

Meus Pensamento by De Leve (featuring Tigrao) © 2018 under ccMixter 

Phillips, Dom. “’If I Don’t Have Sex I’ll Die of Hunger’: Covid-19 Crisis for Rio’s Trans Sex Workers.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 21 May 2020,

Reuters. “As Latin America Locks down, Trans Sex Workers Struggle to Survive.” Nationalpost, National Post, 24 Apr. 2020, 



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