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).
Herzer was four years old when his father was killed. His mother, a prostitute at that time, felt unable to take care of him. She therefore turned young Herzer in to FEBEM. Sometime soon after that, his mother died.
Herzer was very conflicted about his identity, starting at an early age. Early on in life he believed himself to be a lesbian, and in the latter part of her life he understood himself to be transsexual. His school records show that he was a problem student, often engaging in fights, using street drugs, and drinking alcohol.
Herzer was institutionalized in FEBEM when he was fourteen years old. At that time he adopted the name Anderson Bigode Herzer (Note: Anderson is 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, touched by his beautiful poems and difficult life, acted as his protégé and gave him 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. He 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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