The female student seen being attacked by a trans-identified male at a Brazilian University has come forward to Reduxx and provide disturbing new details on the incident.
On December 14, footage taken at the University of Brasília (UNB) began to circulate on social media, quickly racking up viral attention. The camera-phone video clips showed a large, bearded male wearing a dress loudly screaming in the face of a female student, who appeared to be trying to get away from him.
Additional video was taken by the woman being assailed, and she can be heard pointing out the man’s obvious characteristics.
“But you’re a dude!” The female student says.
“I am not a dude! Nothing is keeping me from bringing my hand to your face. Girl, respect me! Respect me!” He is heard screaming, using a colloquial expression for ‘slapping.’
In some extended clips, the trans-identified male student can also be heard claiming it was a “crime” to call him a man.
Reduxx confirmed the identity of the trans-identified male as a student named Brigitte Lúcia. Lúcia, who appears to identify as a homosexual man in addition to as a transgender woman, had previously attempted to run for a position in the university’s student council.
Laura, who is being referred to by a pseudonym as she is concerned for her safety and wishes to remain anonymous, has now come forward to speak to Reduxx about the incident and provide additional details on what happened that day.
Laura has been a student at UNB for 3 years, but says this was the first time she had ever interacted with Lúcia. Laura explains that she had been unaware of a university policy which allowed males who simply identified as “women” to enter the women’s washrooms, even where they were not gender-neutral.
“The bathroom where everything happened is a women’s bathroom, for women. But I was informed that UNB has guidelines that separates washroom by gender identity, not sex. That is, anyone who identifies as a woman can enter the women’s bathroom. I did not know that.”
Upon entering the washroom and seeing Lúcia, Laura says she became anxious. She explained that there had been several recent incidents of sexual harassment and rape on the campus, and that males had also been entering the women’s restrooms to film the women using the toilets.
“This caused me a lot of panic,” Laura says, “So I asked what he was doing there, because I realized he was male. He has a beard, he’s tall, he has a male voice. He didn’t look like a transgender woman.”
Laura says she wasn’t even opposed to the idea of “fully transitioned” trans-identified males using the women’s facilities, but couldn’t understand it when Lúcia began to insist he was a woman.
“As soon as I approached him, he told me he was a woman… But I didn’t understand, because I couldn’t see him as anything but male. He came at me and he was going to attack me right there in the bathroom, but another girl arrived and defended me.”
The other female student helped put distance between Laura and Lúcia, guiding her out of the bathroom with an arm around her. But as soon as the pair entered the cafeteria, Lúcia came barreling towards them, screaming furiously.
“He started calling me transphobic and pointing his finger in my face … He started yelling at me and pushing me and cussing me out. He cornered me all the time and intimidated me, as if he wanted me to fight back … I was afraid he was going to beat me right then and there. I was actually afraid of dying or something,” Laura says.
Laura says Lúcia pursued her all the way to the university administrator’s office, before he pushed her into a glass wall. She says her head and arm hit the wall, and she began to feel dizzy. A university employee ultimately pulled her away from Lúcia.
Laura has lodged a complaint with campus security, as well as filed a report with the local police department for bodily injury. She hasn’t been back to the cafeteria out of fear she’ll run into Lúcia again, and worries that he is going to attempt to ruin her academic career.
When asked if she had a message to convey to the international audience of women who saw the video of her being attacked, Laura explains that she has reflected upon the views she held prior to her ordeal with Lúcia.
“Initially, I would have said that women should be more careful, and not go to bathrooms or changing rooms alone due to the threat of running into a male there … In these last few hours, since the report came out [of what happened to me], I’ve been reflecting on how I’m being accused of [transphobia] simply for acting on my own perception of reality.”
Laura says that since the incident went viral, some student trans activists have condemned her supposed “transphobia,” and have called for her expulsion from the university.
“I simply asked that person to leave the women’s restroom. His response was to insult, humiliate, and assault me. I think if he was so sure of his identity, we would have a healthy discussion without all the stress. But if a simple question I asked, based on my own perception of reality, was enough to provoke that person into a violent rage, I’d like to understand why I’m being accused of wrongdoing and not him.”
She continues: “So, I’m not going to tell women to be careful… My message is: Take action. If something makes you uncomfortable, say ‘no.’ Say ‘I don’t want to,’ or ‘I’m not fine.’ Just do it. I think it’s through action that we change things. Women are told to be nice and passive, but action is the best way, in my opinion, to change the problems that afflict us.”
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