What’s Current: Brazilian journalist ordered to pay fine for ‘misgendering’ trans-identified male influencer


A Brazilian journalist has been found guilty of “transphobia” after addressing a trans-identified male influencer convicted of causing “moral damage” to a trans-identified male influencer using the word “cara,” which can mean “guy.” Madeleine Lacsko was told to delete her tweets and pay three thousand reais (over $500) to the influencer, who goes by the name “Rebecca Gaia.” Apparently, the word “cara” can also mean “dear,” which is what Lacsko claims she meant. 4W reports:

“The social media interaction between Lacsko and Gaia that led to the charging of the journalist occurred on Twitter in July 2021 during a ‘pile-on’ on Lacsko after she’d endured months of online abuse. The influencer asked Ms. Lacsko if she was going to answer a question posed by another man. According to the journalist, the influencer’s profile picture indicated to her that this person was a woman, so Lacsko replied with “Olá, cara (hello, dear)! I’ve already answered it.”

Lacsko explains that of course Gaia “turned out to be a transgender woman” who then accused the journalist of racism and transphobia. To appeal the decision, the journalist must take the case to the Supreme Court. She tells 4W:

“This sets a dangerous precedent for criminal proceedings. Under Brazilian law, the crime of transphobia has been equated with racism and can result in a sentence of up to five years of imprisonment.”

Meghan Murphy

Founder & Editor

Meghan Murphy is a freelance writer and journalist from Vancouver, BC. She has been podcasting and writing about feminism since 2010 and has published work in numerous national and international publications, including The Spectator, UnHerd, Quillette, the CBC, New Statesman, Vice, Al Jazeera, The Globe and Mail, and more. Meghan completed a Masters degree in the department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University in 2012 and is now exiled in Mexico with her very photogenic dog.