Sandra Mara Herzer, a.k.a. Anderson Bigode Herzer (b. 1962 in the city of Rolândia, state of Paraná, Brazil - d. on August 10, 1982, in the city of São Paulo, state of São Paulo, Brazil), was a counter culture writer and poet.
Life and times
Herzer was a transsexual, 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, which could be translated into English as 'descending upwards.' This book, in turn, served as the basis for the Brazilian film production Vera, directed by Sérgio Toledo Segall (better known as Sérgio Toledo).
Sandra was four years old when her father got killed. Her mother, a prostitute at that time felt unable to take care of her, therefore turning young Herzer in to FEBEM. Sometime soon after that, her mother died.
Herzer was very conflicted about her sexuality, starting at an early age. Later on in life she believed to be a homosexual, and in the latter part of her life she understood herself to be a transsexual. Her school records show that she was a problem student, often engaging in fights, using street drugs and drinking alcohol.
Herzer was institutionalized in FEBEM when she was fourteen years old. At that time she adopted the male name Anderson Bigode Herzer (Note: Anderson is a common male first name in Brazil; although bigode is an unusual nickname, meaning mustache). She remained under the State's tutelage until seventeen years of age. At that time Eduardo Suplicy, a renowned member of parliament, touched by her beautiful poems and difficult life, acted as her protégé and gave her an internship in his cabinet.
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 the city of São Paulo. She died from the injuries soon after receiving first aid.
- Rosely Roth
- O suicídio em poetas jovens, como Sandra (Anderson) Herzer, vulgo Bigode by José Carlos A. Brito (in Portuguese).
- O Direito Inalienável a Uma Renda Básica no Século XXI por Eduardo Matarazzo Suplicy. Speech, Porto Alegre, Brazil, World Social Forum, 2001 (in Portuguese)
- Jornal do Brasil: A queda para o alto. www.senado.gov.br - 2006 (in Portuguese)
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