The world-famous São Paulo Pride this weekend had an air of protest and unease along with its usual celebration.
The massive parade in São Paulo had political connotations as it took place under the presidency of right-wing and conservative Jair Bolsonaro, who has been known for both homophobic and racist comments.
— teleSUR English (@telesurenglish) June 24, 2019
the world's biggest pride parade happens in Brazil 💗 3 million people attended this year's parade in São Paulo. this is what diversity looks like pic.twitter.com/2e2pPHkyMG
— lais (@bobthedrag) June 24, 2019
Because of attempts from the president to move the country more right politically, some parade-goers carried signs calling for the president’s expulsion and screamed the anti-Bolsonaro rallying cry of “Not him!”
Diego dos Santos Oliveira, one of the organisers, said: “Considering all we faced in the last elections, this is one of the most important parades, to show that we are here and will continue here existing and resisting.”
There have been an endless amount of concerning comments made by the president since his election, who has been called the ‘Trump of Brazil’.
He recently has said that a gay kiss should be punishable with prison, calling a kiss between same-sex couples “obscene.”
He also incited hatred in April when he said the following about gay tourism in Brazil: “If you want to come here and have sex with a woman, go for your life. But we can’t let this place become known as a gay tourism paradise. Brazil can’t be a country of the gay world, of gay tourism. We have families.”
According to the NGO Grupo Gay de Bahia, which has collected national statistics for the past four decades, there were 387 murders and 58 suicides over “homotransphobia” in 2017, a 30% increase from 2016. Their Annual Report for 2018 showed an increase to 419 killings of LGBT+ people for the year.
At the beginning of June, in the Supreme Court of Brazil, 8 of 11 justices voted to treat homophobia in the same way as racism under Brazilian law, making homophobia criminal act. The move was largely celebrated, as it will hopefully protect LGBT+ people during a tumultuous time in Brazil.
The criminalisation of homophobia was met with much protest from the president, who accused justices of legislating from the bench and wanted to see more evangelical Christians join the supreme court.
© 2019 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.
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