Liniker: Why was your victory at the Latin Grammys a milestone for the trans collective?

On November 17, the twenty-third edition of the Latin Grammys witnessed a transcendental moment. That night, thanks to the record Indigo Borboleta Anilactress and singer linker got the gramophone for Best Brazilian Popular Music Album. And what is even more important: it became the first award-winning trans woman in the history of said awards. Those present at the Michelob Ultra Arena in Las Vegas they applauded her standing up The occasion well deserved it.

Liniker has not had it easy. Born in Araraquara, she comes from a humble family of musicians. “Being a black person and from the interior of São Paulo, raised by a mother who took care of me and my brother alone, I have always had to be very mature to deal with everything& rdquor;, she declared in 2019 to the pages of Marie Claire. In that same talk, apart from explaining how his father was absent most of his lifespoke for the first time about an episode that his closest friends were unaware of: “I was sexually abused when I was 12 years old. For a long time I erased it from my mind. I started to remember recently. No one in my family knew. There was more than one abuser, repeatedly. And they were people I lived with. I wanted to tell my mother, but I was afraid that she would a disaster in the family”.

First, through the theater, and later, with music, he found an escape route. In 2015, in just one week, Cruhis first EP with the band Os Caramelows, obtained more than 5 million views on YouTube. The specialized press soon compared her to Tim Maia, the “King of Brazilian Soul”. However, in the later albums of her-come backfrom 2016; Goela Abaixoof 2019, and Indigo Borboleta Anilthe first one he released after becoming independent from Os Caramelows in 2021- showed that in his eclectic sound mixer there is also room for genres such as funk, R&B and samba-rock. Beyond Maia, when asked about her main sources of inspiration, she points to Whitney Houston and Nina Simone like their heroines.

His live show, as he recently demonstrated in the successful debut at the Primavera Sound festival in São Paulo, is quite a declaration of intent. “My visibility as a singer helps me to occupy spaces that are not the usual ones for trans women. That representation is very important. Brazil continues to be a very transphobic, sexist, racist country with hate speech. When a trans woman goes on stage, that’s already political,” she asserted in 2018 in Now Magazine. Her words could not be more accurate: according to the National Association of Transvestites and Transsexuals (ANTRA), in 2020 they were murdered 175 transsexuals in Brazil, 43.5% more than the previous year. And although the number decreased to 140 in 2021, the South American giant continues to lead the world rate of transfemicide. Given these figures, Liniker’s victory at the Latin Grammys should be understood as a milestone for the LGTBIQ+ community. Both the Brazilian, in particular, and the international, in general.

Also, on February 6, the German Kim Petras could also surprise at the Anglo-Saxon Grammys. After becoming the first trans solo artist to reach the top of the Billboard Hot 100 last October with unholythe single he recorded with sam smithpart as a favorite in the category of Best Pop Duo. If he took over the gramophone, he would follow in the footsteps of Wendy Carlos, who in 1970 -two years after starting hormone replacement therapy- won three Grammys for Switched-On Bach, the groundbreaking album that introduced analog synthesizers to the mainstream. Carlos was also the composer of the soundtracks of ‘The Shining’, ‘A Clockwork Orange’ and ‘Tron’. Other trans artists like Teddy Geiger, Jackie Shane, SOPHIE or Ark They have been nominated since 2019. Although, all of them left the gala empty-handed.

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Raised in Hennef, a rural town in the Cologne region, Petras was always aware that she had been born in the wrong body. A few weeks ago, in Guardianrevealed: “My dysphoria was severe as a child. I was suicidal from a very young age into my teens. Where I was born there was no local medical care, so from the age of 10 my parents took me all over Germany to find doctors to treat me. They pushed for me to get the help I needed, and they believed me. And that was over a decade ago, a totally different time.” In fact, after appearing on German television at the age of 13, she became famous in her country for Defend the rights of trans children. In 2010 even shared his story in the Red and black program of Telecinco.

Little by little, throughout the last decade, Petras has won the hearts of lovers of electronic pop. The last single from her co-produced by Max Martin, If Jesus Was a Rockstarexplores a more organic and less hedonistic path than the one that could be heard at the beginning of the year on the EP Slut Pop. But if the pools are right, like Liniker, he would immediately go down in the history books. In a few months we will leave doubts.

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Liniker: Why was your victory at the Latin Grammys a milestone for the trans collective?