Anderson Bigode Herzer

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Anderson Bigode Herzer (born Sandra Mara Herzer 10 June 1962 in Rolândia, Paraná, Brazil [1] - 10 August 1982, in São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil), was a writer and poet. He committed suicide at the age 20. The film Vera by Sérgio Toledo is based on Herzer's life.

Life and times[edit]

A-queda-para-o-alto.jpg

Herzer was a transsexual man, ex-intern of FEBEM or Fundação Estadual para o Bem Estar do Menor (a State institution for the protection of minors) whose life and verses were published in a book titled A queda para o alto, (translated as 'descending upwards' in English as This book, in turn, served as the basis for the Brazilian film production Vera, directed by Sérgio Toledo Segall (better known as Sérgio Toledo).[2] He was four years old when his father was killed, and his mother, a prostitute at that time, felt unable to take care of him, therefore turning young Herzer in to FEBEM. Sometime soon after that, his mother died.

Although Herzer considered himself to be a lesbian for some time in his life, he then identified as transsexual. His school records show that he was a problem student, often engaging in fights, using street drugs and consuming alcohol.

Herzer was institutionalized in FEBEM when he was fourteen years old. At that time he adopted the name Anderson Bigode Herzer (Anderson being a common male first name in Brazil; although bigode is an unusual nickname, meaning mustache). He remained under the State's tutelage until seventeen years of age. At that time Eduardo Suplicy, a renowned member of parliament (deputado in Portuguese), touched by his poems and difficult life, acted as his protégé and hired him as an intern in his office.[3]

Death[edit]

In spite of the support received, Herzer felt profoundly traumatized and decided to commit suicide by jumping off the Viaduto 23 de Maio, a viaduct located in the downtown area of São Paulo.[4]

Vera-sergio-toledo.jpg

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Obituary (in Portuguese) Accessed 10 August 2009
  2. ^ O suicídio em poetas jovens, como Sandra (Anderson) Herzer, vulgo Bigode by José Carlos A. Brito (in Portuguese).
  3. ^ O Direito Inalienável a Uma Renda Básica no Século XXI por Eduardo Matarazzo Suplicy. Speech, Porto Alegre, Brazil, World Social Forum, 2001 (in Portuguese)
  4. ^ Jornal do Brasil: A queda para o alto. www.senado.gov.br - 2006 (in Portuguese)