Camila Prins, 40, first realised she wanted to be a woman at a Carnival party aged 11, when she and the other boys were allowed to dress like a girl as part of the burlesque festivities. Now, in the final minutes of Saturday, she became the first transgender woman to lead the drum section of a top samba school in either of the renowned Carnival parades put on in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Her duty was to dance infectiously for 65 minutes in front of the drummers, using her legs to drive their rhythm while judges assessed the school's parade. I'm very excited because this shows we can be anywhere. We can be godmother of the drummers, we can be owners of a samba school,' Prins said before the parade. Transgender people remain something of a taboo among Brazilians, even in Sao Paulo, the country's most cosmopolitan city and host to the world's largest gay pride parade.
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Brazilian transgender dancer shatters Carnival parade taboo - Chicago Tribune
The black bands worn at a rehearsal for the carnival, which begins on Friday, were a tribute to a dancer who had been killed the week before. Next day a shocking video surfaced on social media, purporting to show her being tortured to death in a nearby favela known as Morro da Mina. Da Silva lived in the neighbouring district of Anchieta, which is close to both the samba school headquarters and Morro da Mina. The footage showed Da Silva pleading with unseen aggressors while they grilled her about what she was doing there. Her face and body were already covered in blood. Frantic relatives searched the area after the video was released and found her body, disfigured and riddled with bullets. There has since been wild speculation about what caused her tragic death.
Brutal killing of a samba ‘queen’ exposes dark world behind the glitter of carnival
Prins says she first realized she wanted to be a woman at a Carnival party at age 11, when, like the other boys, she was allowed to dress like a girl as part of the burlesque festivities. Now, in the final minutes of Saturday, she became the first transgender woman to lead the drum section of a top samba school in either of the renowned Carnival parades put in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Brazil has more slayings of transvestites and transgender people than any country in the world. In , were killed, 21 of them in Sao Paulo state. As godmother of the drum section, Prins teamed up with a drum queen who has a similar role, and together they worked to dazzle fans in the Sambadrome bleachers with their beauty and sex appeal.
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