For transgender Brazilian musician and first-time actress Liniker, her new series September Mornings (Manhãs de Setembro), is more than just a TV show. It’s a part of who she is as a person and how she feels she can share herself with the world.
Liniker, born in Araraquara, São Paulo, Brazil, stars as Cassandra, a trans-Brazilian woman who decides to leave her hometown to pursue her dream of becoming a musician. Her life takes an unexpected turn when her ex-girlfriend Leide (Karine Teles) shows up with a 10-year-old boy, Gersinho (Gustavo Coelho), who she claims is Cassandra’s son.
Liniker was immediately drawn to this role, despite having little experience as a professional actor. She recognized the similarities between her and Cassandra right away because, as she says, they are both “complex” characters.
“I felt it was a part that I could play because we have the same gender identity,” Liniker told Remezcla during a recent interview. “Cassandra is not far from the place I come from. She is so loyal to the people in her support network. She is such a dreamer, and she is so persistent.”
Along with the similarities in their personalities, there is the musical aspect of both their lives. Cassandra is a cover artist that performs music by her favorite musician Vanusa, a Brazilian singer and actress who rose to fame in the 1970s (September Mornings is named after one of her hit songs). When Liniker landed the role of Cassandra, she wasn’t too familiar with the work of Vanusa, but she quickly became a fan. “When I became a part of the series, I took a deep dive into Vanusa’s universe and started discovering lots of her albums, articles about her, and important things about her life and everything she means as a Brazilian singer,” Liniker tells us. “I admire her work.”
Liniker is the former bandleader for the Brazilian soul group Liniker e os Caramelows. In 2019, the band’s album Goela Abaixo (Down My Throat) was nominated for Best Portuguese Language Rock or Alternative Album at the Latin Grammys. Last year, Liniker decided to take her musical career solo. She uses her platform as an entertainer to promote queer rights and social change in the trans and LGBTQIA+ communities. She hopes that a series like September Mornings can deliver the same message that she writes about in her music.
“I would like people to respect our journeys,” she said. “I would like people to respect our way of living.” According to the musician and now-actress, this way of living includes trans people having children without others judging them on their choice to raise a family. Liniker has thought about what it would be like to be a mother herself. It’s something she is considering today. “That’s something I would love to do – creating something and being a part of creating a human being,” she said. “I think it would be like creating music because I create music with a lot of love. So, creating a human being with love, respect, affection, and bravery, I think that’s the way I would like to create a human being when I become a mother.”
Liniker already feels that motherly love with those who support her work as a singer and songwriter. For her, it’s all about being protective, showing affection, and hoping people can start seeing the trans community positively. She wants to be part of that conversation, not only in Brazil but across the globe.
“I talk about love amidst all the violence we are subjected to,” she said. “It’s universal. I don’t want to just belong to a niche. Even though in Brazil we do have a great need to speak for ourselves. I want to be heard, and I want to be seen. I want other people to have the same access and the same space to be respected.”
September Mornings is currently streaming on Amazon Prime.