Image Courtesy: Google Doodle

Brenda Lee (29 January 1948 – 28 May 1996) was a Brazilian transgender LGBT rights activist. Brenda was considered as supportive and aimed to help everyone, sick or not, who were discriminated against by society.

She was an advocate for the rights and freedoms of the LGBTQ community. Brenda Lee founded the “Palace of Princesses,” a four-story refuge from the dangers of street life for transgender people and cross-dressers in São Paulo, Brazil. The Palace soon turned into one of the country’s first residences for persons with HIV/AIDS.

Life and Career

Brenda Lee was born on 29 January 1948 in Bodocó, Pernambuco on this day in 1948 and moved to São Paulo at the age of 14. In 1984, Lee purchased a four-story townhouse in downtown. The following year a series of hate crimes against trans people inspired her to open her home for those at risk of violence, and a short time after, the Palace of Princesses was turned into the Casa de Apoio (Brenda Lee Support House), a care home for patients—trans or not—with HIV/AIDS. Later, in 1992, the Casa de Apoio was legally incorporated and affiliated with the Emilio Ribas Hospital.  To this day, the shelter — now funded by the State Health Secretariat — provides care for those who need it most.

On May 28, 1996, Brenda was brutally murdered with a shot in the mouth and another in the chest and her body was found in a vacant lot after discovering that the driver of the Brenda Lee Support House had forged a check issued by the victim.

Award and Legacy

Brenda Lee is known for humanitarian work and did extensive work for the upliftment of HIV/AIDS patients and the LGBTQ community.

On 29 January 2019, Google Doodle celebrated Brenda Lee.

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