I'm Otávio Lazuli Ricci - many people confuse this, but it's a compound name, my name is Otávio Lazulli, and Ricci is my last name. I'm 26 years old, I was born on August 5, 1995. I'm a boyceta*, pronouns he/him. I'm living in Porto Alegre, but I'm from ABC Paulista, São Paulo.
[*the identity boyceta comes from the junction of the words boy and buceta (Portuguese for pussy)]
How did I get here, huh? (laughs) I met Caru, who is my partner, he is a tattoo artist from Porto Alegre... It was crazy: we started a long-distance relationship, we met on Instagram and we spent three months talking and seeing each other from time to time, one traveling to the other's city. One day I was fired, I became unemployed, I was like "wow, I will have to start all over again, get a job in the middle of a pandemic that has already huge unemployment rates...", he asked "do you want to come here? Take a chance here since you already have to start over?", I thought "why not start over in Porto Alegre? I don't know, start new, different things. A place where I know nothing. I had only been there for a few days''. I came here twice and only for two days then I'd come back to São Paulo - I used to come during my day off. So I decided to take a chance and see what would happen. I came and it was nice... I really enjoy the city. For São Paulo I feel love and hate. I like it here, I wanna stay more, but at the same time I miss the routine there... I like the madness of São Paulo, the rush, and always having cultural events; I miss this a lot here. Ok, it was the peak of the pandemic, but I recognized myself as trans in the middle of 2019, and then I lived in the center of SP and I met some trans people but I didn't have contact with other boycetas, it was difficult. I felt very alone and I didn't understand many things, like "oh, what is this process that I'm going through and I don't understand?". And I was ashamed to talk to someone on the internet to ask questions. It was really hard. Through my ex, who is a cisgender girl who has trans friends, I managed to meet other transmasculines and, I don't know, they gave me a few tips on things, but I felt a lot of transphobia coming from her [my ex], there was something bothering me around her speech, it was aggressive. At the same time that she had contacts... Cis-ally, right? fuck. At least I managed to meet other transmasc people, I managed to exchange some ideas, but it wasn't enough. I didn't have a greater intimacy to talk to them because I was very stuck. Then the pandemic came and it was crazy, I was locked up and I couldn't socialize with other transmasculine people.
From the beginning: through a friend who recognized herself as trans, she said "I need to talk to you, let's meet in a bar" - I think it was July 2019 - we were talking, as she opened her heart I started crying. I said "friend, everything you're telling me... That's it, that's how I feel!" I felt desperate because I looked at myself in the mirror and didn't understand, you know? Every day to look in the mirror and "ok, what's up? Is that it?" I don't know... I was feeling really bad, I couldn't find myself, I couldn't see myself, I couldn't understand. Several issues. Nothing suited me. It made me desperate. She [friend] said that and we managed to understand each other, we cried a lot, but it was really good. Then I thought "oh my parents...", I lived in their house. I then communicated with them as I have always communicated. Like, I was 12 or 13 years old when I came out as bisexual to my mother. I said "I'm bi. Period. It's over", it was crazy, I was young. When I decided it was time to say I'm trans, I wasn't going to pretend... I didn't even question myself so much about my name, I just accepted the name I had. So when I talked to her [mother] I said "so, I'm trans, I identify as a trans person. I haven't really defined my identity yet, I'm understanding myself. I don't know what's going on, but I know I'm trans and that's it", so she said "that's ok, I knew it already". She was very sweet, everything went fine. However, I don't know what conversation she and my father had, because, on the next day, wow! Both have an abusive relationship. She started treating me in a cold manner, like "it's not like that", and my father started treating me badly. We never had much openness to dialogue and things got even worse. One day we had a fight and they called me "she", so I said "it's he!" My father replied that there was no man there - I wanted to argue that I am not a man, right? That was not the point, but I didn't want to have a discussion, until I explained… I didn't want to teach, I didn't want anything. So it was a crazy fight. Crazy… So he said "get out of here, if this is not the way you want to deal with things, it won't be your way".
I left home. I found a hostel in Paulista Avenue, it was awesome! (laughs) Fuck, I was on buzzing Paulista. It was pretty cool, a cool experience, but at the same time, I didn't have contact with other trans people, I was hanging out with cis people only. I was like "I'm still lost. What is happening?" I needed someone to tell me everything was fine - I needed this. That friend of mine… She gave me a huge comfort, but I was missing explanations she didn't have, she had another life experience. I needed other transmasculine folks, with bodies similar to mine, that could understand me better. So I went there [Paulista Av] and through my ex girlfriend I had contact with other trans people, but it wasn't enough. I was suffering in an abusive relationship, where she even beated me - and I was unemployed, I was really fucked. I was searching for places to live, jumping from house to house until my money was over and I ended up in the streets. After a few days on the streets I found a shelter for trans people, I signed up and they called me; I was happy for having a place to sleep. I went to this place and wow! It was crazy, I was happy because I had a place to sleep, but at the same time it was nerve-racking, I had many things stolen, I saw extreme prejudice and it gave me despair because I was trying to understand myself - I met other trans people and I thought it would help me to understand more about myself but they were reproducing terrible things, for example that there was no such thing as non-binary, you know? Things like physical aggression, some hideous stuff, I couldn't believe I was living that. I was trying to understand what was happening so I tried not to generalize things, to think that it was just a moment I was going through, that people there had their fights, they could have had a difficult life, I was trying to think everything was fine. It was very difficult, it was horrible, horrible, horrible. I spent 4 months there. Until I found a job. At the beginning I had only the covid emergencial aid, and it took me a while to get it because they blocked everything, it was horrible. I had no money, nothing. I even tried to appeal to my parents, but they treated me so badly that I thought I'd rather be homeless than going through that. So I continued… It was horrible. Until I got a job at a bar. I've worked since I was 16 in bars and restaurants. So it worked, I was happy as fuck, I got my little space. I left that place, it was a relief. And then it happened again, because of the pandemic, in February 2021 everything shut down again. I was fired once again, so I was like "fuck, how am I going to live again?"
I was living in the shelter, so I got a job at a bar and then I left the shelter because I could pay for rent. When I first came to São Paulo, at the hostel, I was also sharing dorms with lots of people, but at least we had lockers. It was very difficult, I had to work six hours per day at the hostel to pay for my daily accommodation. It was nice because I had to communicate in other languages, such as English, so I had to manage how to talk to gringos. I had the basics of English and had to get by, it was nice. I lived in the hostel for about five months. It was a relief when I got my own space and privacy, because at the hostel bedroom it was 8 people in total: me and 7 cis guys; it was rare to have a trans person there. It was a LGBTQIA+ hostel, it was cool, but there was always different people in my room, and it was the men's room - so it was just standard gays (laughs).
I was not using hormones, I only started testosterone in 2020, in the midst of the pandemic. I was going crazy. I didn't want to take injections, but androgel was too expensive, so I decided that I would start hormones in another moment. I saw a message from a transmasculine couple saying they needed a place to stay in São Paulo for two days, and I thought "I have a big space now, I'm going to host them", I told them to stay at my house. They stayed there for two days and I had told them I wanted to start testosterone, that I tried going to a doctor, to a health center, but the medical care was terrible - there was a time that the doctor asked me for my number because he didn't know what to do with me, he said he would call me after discovering what to do. I said "I will get by, I don't need anything from you, bye". So they [the couple] gave me a box of testosterone as a form of saying thank you, and one of them offered to inject me, I said "we are here already, so why not, right?" (laughs).
*trigger warning: the following paragraph contains graphic description of testosterone injection*
I was desperate, I was leaning against the wall, with my ass naked and thinking "fuck, fuck, fuck", I was looking at a painting in front of me and as soon as they started the injection I said "guys, my blood pressure is dropping", I realized I was falling down so I tryed to stay on my feet. Wow! It was a crazy trip, I think I fainted, not only because I fell down, but I had a crazy trip and when I came back they had already finished the injection. The person who gave me the injection was desperate (laughs). They were desperate, like "this needle is going to break inside you, hold on" (laughs). And it was over. I survived. Nowadays I only do it lying down. At the health center the nurses even make fun of me, but it has to be lying down. I even tried sitting, Jamil - he's from Piauí and I've hosted him -, he did the injection on my thigh and I said "friend, I'm fainting" (laughs). It didn't work sitting either, I fainted and woke up with him hugging me and giving me several kisses on the head, "come back friend, come back!"
I started T and things got crazy. When I was around 21 years old I prostituted myself for a while, and during the pandemic I started prostituting myself again… But I had a different mind, it was much more difficult to submit to things. I needed testosterone. I was prostituting myself to pay for testosterone, and my sugar daddy - he was a sugar daddy; it was so problematic, he use to say that I was "his little boy", and I was like "oh my god, get me out of this!", but at the same time he was paying for everything, like medical exams, everything I needed. I thought "at least I have this comfort, I am getting my testosterone and doing the injections". I was living at the shelter. When I got the job I simply disappeared, I thought I didn't need to go through that anymore. This was before coming here [Porto Alegre], I decided to try a medical appointment again and this time they treated me correctly: they asked my pronouns and my name and they called me by my name. It took me three or four attempts until I took the exams. The Trans Health Center - there is only one in São Paulo - was always full of people, then in the rush of everyday life I couldn't go, it was too far from where I lived and worked - I couldn't. They gave Hormus [testosterone] for free there [SP] and then when I came here [Porto Alegre], I thought it was absurd that they don't give you testosterone.
Then I got the T, I got a job, I managed to get rid of this guy, I was chilled... He was an older person, he was very problematic, he was like "oh my little boy, my little boy", treating me like a child, you know? I was anguished thinking about how problematic this was, thinking that I was somehow covering up pedophilia; I felt desperate going through that, but at the same time, it was a way to escape. Even when it comes to pampering, sometimes I wanted to eat something, like chocolate, and I didn't have money, so it ended up being a comfort. It was an exchange so that I could have comfort. Oh, when I got rid of that it was a relief. I got a great job as a bartender and I was earning a nice salary. It was really crazy, because I was in misery and out of nowhere the game turned. Man, what a relief. And then everything shut down again, the bars shut down and I was fired again. I said "fuck, fuck, fuck". Then I decided to expose myself on the internet, asking for a job. I didn't want to live that life again. I said "hey guys, if anyone can recommend me for a job and such", so I got a job at a dog hotel - it was great! Working with the pets was very good. But I was receiving way less than the job at the bar. When I got a cool job everything shut down again, so here I go again… Seriously, I worked 24 hours for almost two months at the hotel. After working two months I got my salary and I got upset. I received R$2,500.00 for working 24 hours for two months living there. I lived there, I used to go home just to do laundry, get something and come back. So when I got my salary I thought "really? I killed myself working". It was awesome to work with dogs, but the people… The employees and the managers were horrible, and it was crazy that... I'm going to expose it: the owener is a non-binary trans person, but they were an asshole to me, they never valued me. I really feel I got fired because people didn't know how to deal with me. I realized that was the real reason I was fired; they said they were going to do budget cuts, but people didn't know how to deal with me, they got my pronouns wrong. I talked to one of the managers, but it was no use. No one made a move to speak to him. They invalidated me. Then, after that, with Caru's invitation, I decided to take my chances in Porto Alegre. It was crazy to sell everything. The guy who rented the place there said he could reduce the rent and such, he made a really cool proposal to keep me there; and it was the most comfortable place I had ever lived, I thought "I finally found a comfortable place, a nice little house", and it was really cool because it was a music and photography studio inside the house. I lived with people from the music and photography fields. Sometimes when I arrived home there was a rehearsal going on, it was pretty cool. At first I thought it would be very difficult because they were two cis guys, I had never lived with a cis guy before, I thought it would be crazy, but it wasn't, it was really nice. I was upset to say goodbye, I said "guys, I can't stay here anymore, but that's it, I'm going to take a risk. I want to take a risk."
I arrived here at the end of June last year. I arrived during winter, wow, I've never felt so cold in my life. I have been hanging out much more with trans people here. I feel more supported. I don't know if it's because it's easier to meet people, I don't know why... [Before] I have only been to a few places with other trans people, but I was with cis people around me, this makes me angry: I didn't share spaces with trans people, like "my trans group of friends". And I had this here, because of that it felt more comfortable. I arrived in July and my birthday was in August. I even managed to get a trans group of friends together, it was really cool! Only two people were not trans I think. I was happy to be able to put this group together, to be with these people.
In terms of the city, I find it much more comfortable and beautiful here, which I like, but I notice a rural atmosphere also. I think there's much prejudice here, it's crazy, and what gives me agony here is how they worship people from São Paulo. I'm working at a company and when I say I'm from São Paulo people change with me, they value me more. I'm like "guys, stop worshiping paulistas". I see that most people that work there are from outside, from SP, they are not calling local people, local artists, to work there. But I like it here. I like having access to Guaíba's shore - I think it's one of my favorite places. I like being able to go out at night, the night is my favorite time. Having access to Guaíba is so good, sitting there on the shore... But we live in the City Center, right? I arrived in the Center and, really, it makes a difference to live in the Center of the city.
The relationship with Caru is very pleasant. It was always very intense. It all started with him posting a photo of a raffle he was doing on Instagram. But how did I get to him? I'll tell you. I remember that when Jamil was staying at my house, he went to get a haircut with Loren, in SP. Loren and Laurie cutted his hair together, each one took one side and they cut Jamil's hair - and it was really funny because on one side they cut his beard and on the other side they didn't, he looked funny. Then I stalked Laurie's profile, I found Lau's profile and thought "wow, cute, I'm going to follow him too", then I saw Caru's photo and I found him cute too (laughs). Oh, transmasculines… that's it (laughs). So I followed Caru and replied to a raffle he was doing saying "too bad it's in Porto Alegre", he replied, said he was planning to go to São Paulo, so we started talking. It was intense! We were talking everyday, then we started video calling, I got home from work and we called. It was, wow! This was right when I got the job at the dog hotel, I was sleeping at work, we did a lot of video calling, it was crazy, crazy. It was pretty intense and pleasant, so he came to SP. I said "wow, our first date will be him arriving at my house with a suitcase". He arrived and the moment I saw him, I was like, "oh, perfect, perfection." I don't know, it just matched really well. At the same time that I felt fear, I was confident. It was nice, really nice, his presence... I think it was the most perfect two weeks of my life, it was incredible, incredible. I was able to stay at home for a week, it was amazing. Wow, we enjoyed it a lot! There was a large yard and a garden in the house... It was very pleasant to be with him, he got along with the people in the house. This was the first time he was there, it was very good, we enjoyed it a lot. We didn't go out much because it was the pandemic peak: a lot of people with covid, a lot of people dying, much more than now. So we stayed home - there was no vaccine yet. He came just for our date really and it was very nice, we enjoyed it a lot and it was very sad when he returned to POA.
Then, ok, we continued video calling and stuff, then I came here, I said "I'm going to spend the weekend here", that's when I met POA. It was funny because in my adolescence I wanted to come to POA to meet the emos (laughs). As an adult, I started to have another vision, to find the city too conservative. It has a lot of military influence, it makes me sick. Soldiers everywhere… Ok, I came. I came here twice, and when I was fired he asked me if I wanted to come here, he said he wanted to be closer to me. Then I said "oh, what a wonderful invitation, I'm going." I came here and it's very pleasant to live together. Now we have a baby, a kitten, it's been amazing. But it's hard to have children, even sex life ends up suffering the consequences (laughs). Sometimes we feel suffocating about living in a small place, sometimes we just want to have more space, to help having a better experience living together. We are living in a room that is a bedroom, living room and the studio of both of us at the same time. It kind of suffocates. I go out more to work, Caru works more at home, but living in the same room is sometimes difficult because if I want to listen to loud music, I only do it when he is not there. Sometimes I want to watch TV and he wants to listen to music. It sucks a bit. Sometimes I just want to listen to a voice message, to answer it in my own way, but I don't have that privacy, I'm in the same space, I'm always sharing space, always. This is the hard part, but it's also very nice, we know how to talk, we're very transparent with each other. Everytime we have an argument we talk and resolve things. I think our arguments are even funny, because we are very honest with each other. Not in an aggressive way, but we are very sincere, saying "I didn't like this, I didn't like that and that's it". Both are very sincere, I think that's why it's funny. I think it's funny. I don't know, I really enjoy interacting with him, I feel very comfortable with him. It's my first relationship with a trans person; I've always had relationships with cis people, especially cis girls. So it's been a great comfort, he understands my body, understands everything... Both respect each other a lot. It was a relationship that I didn't expect to be so intense, so fast. I'm living with someone again, it happened super fast. But it is completely different, my other relationship was extremely abusive, to the point where I told my ex I thought about doing top surgery and she said "if you do it, we won't be in a relationship anymore", it was very aggressive all the time. I kept silent when she was being transphobic. I don't know why I kept quiet, I didn't understand what was happening, but ok, it passed - but when I saw her being transphobic to a trans girl who was trying to use the restroom at the bar... I was watching that scene and it made me anguished. The person was affirming to be a trans woman and she [ex] didn't understand it, you know? That was quite a shock. So in several moments I realized that things were not fine between us anymore. It's really different now, to live together, to understand each other, to be connected; It's been a very nice relationship, completely different from other relationships I had. It's much more comfortable. It's so healthy that it's even weird and it's crazy to have this feeling like "because it's healthy, it's weird", but it's the basics. It's crazy... Everything is going smoothly.
I always try to help people who are just starting [transitioning], who have doubts, because I remember what I went through, not having contact with other trans people, especially transmasculine ones, who understood me, listened to me. As long as I can help, I think it would be great. I really wanted to be helping, to be supporting people.
At the beginning of the transition, I was questioning myself a lot about my body language, like "how should I behave? How should I talk?", and, at the same time, I was questioning myself about hormones, wondering if I could be feminine, what I was, how I could behave. I was very stuck. I didn't feel comfortable, I didn't have someone to talk to, to understand me, to talk about the changes in my body… I started hormones, and I noticed "ok, my head is changing", like, I took a testosterone load, my thoughts were racing, who could I talk to about this? I wanted someone to tell [me] that everything was fine, that what was happening was normal, like "you can try this to feel better", you know? Things that would be a huge help; I don't know, that's what Google didn't help me with. I was searching on the internet, then I started hunting profiles of transmasculine people, I searched for photos... And like, I don't do it myself, but I think it's really cool who does the before and after, it helped me a lot, like "5 months on T", "2 months on T". It helped me to know if this was what I wanted. I continued searching for these things that helped me. I looked at pictures to understand what was happening. When you search about this, the results scare you. Google always says that you will have cancer. It said that I needed to stop smoking otherwise something would happen... Calm down (laughs).
You know that thing of "you are a man!" and I was like "it's not that, this didn't even cross my mind" (laughs). [I identify as] boyceta because I am proud of my trans body, my body with pussy. Yes, I am proud of my body with tits. It's because of that, I am a boy that has a pussy and I am proud of this fight. I am very comfortable… Everyone has their own issues with their bodies, but, I don't know, I am very proud, and also about my tits - not that it's directly linked to the term boyceta, there's a connection, but you do not need to have tits to be a boyceta - but I feel that wanting to do top surgery is a matters of social pressure, it's not like "wow", it's more a social pressure so I can feel comfortable without a shirt or binder… I feel this a lot. And the issue around "boyceta" is a fight that I have, of understanding it is okay to have a pussy, to have this body and show to society that, yes, there are boys who have pussies. I always introduce myself as boyceta, so much so that my ig user is boyceta. And that's it, I always try to show, to sign boyceta, to show that there are boys with pussies, men with pussies - not formally "men", but like, masculinities with pussy.
Lazuli or Zu, 26 years old. Boyceta, multiple-language artist. Currently works as a tattoo artist and styling.
Lazuli or Zu, 26 years old. Boyceta, multiple-language artist. Currently works as a tattoo artist and styling.
1 year 8 months in hormones
*Lazuli is from ABC Paulista (SP) - Brazil and this essay was made in February 2022, where he currently lives
Project financed by the notice resulting from the Term of Consensual Commitment signed by PRDC-RS/MPF as a result of the early closing of the exhibition "Queermuseu - Cartografias da Diferença na Arte Brasileira"
This project was idealized and is made by Gabz, a trans non-binary multiple-language artist. Ser Trans is a project that portrays and also makes room for trans, travestis and non-binary people to be the protagonists of their own stories. We are seeking for representation in front and behind cameras. This project started out of urgency. Ser Trans is made also in collaboration with Lau Graef, transmasculine artist, visual arts student and autonomous activist; Luka Machado, travesti, actress, visual artist and activist; and Morgan Lemes, black trans man, screenwriter, researcher and photography assistant.
Ser Trans is autonomously produced by trans people and all content is offered for free. You can sustain this project by sharing it with friends and making a one time or recurrent donation - any value is welcome. For early exclusive access to all content, subscribe to the project's Patreon. To know click the link bellow. Thank you for supporting a project made by trans people <3
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