A ward for travestis, gays, and their husbands: Discursive forces in a prison event

Fernando Seffner Amilton Gustavo da Silva Passos About the authors


In 2012, the Porto Alegre Central Prison created a ward designed to house the inmate population of travestis, gays, and their husbands. Considering that the prison is an institution historically marked by a strong disciplinarian, and heteronormative bias, the purpose of this article is to analyze certain discursive forces that were articulated in an original and productive way for the emergence of the ward. We describe two prominent elements: the conflation of meaning between transvestite and victim, and the dynamics of risk management. The first concerns the discursive process of transvestite identity production, as invariably linked to a victim position, and that relation influences this subject's process of (re)humanization, as an incarcerated life. The second describes how the prison operation and its disciplinary principles produced institutional strategies for the installation of the ward.

travesti; prison; victimization; risk management; Brazil

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