2022 Race

Brazil’s only out LGBTQ senator joins Workers’ Party for gubernatorial race

senator workers party
Lula and Senator Contarato. Photo: Ricardo Stuckert/IL

Senator Fabiano Contarato announced on Monday that he is leaving the centrist Rede party to join the center-left Workers’ Party. 

“Governments led by the Workers’ Party restored the country’s international image, allowed poor people to get college degrees, opened up the dungeons of the dictatorship with a truth commission, democratized policymaking, and generated growth,” he said, in a statement published on Twitter.

The move comes as Mr. Contarato paves the way to run for governor of his home state of Espírito Santo, where he served as a police investigator, head of the traffic department, and state comptroller. The senator had already expressed his intent to join a party stronger than Rede, which holds just two seats in the Senate and only one in the House. 

In 2019, Fabiano Contarato became the first LGBTQ member of the Senate. He gained national notoriety during the Senate’s Covid inquiry, challenging a witness for posting homophobic messages on social media. “I dream of a time when I won’t be judged for my sexual orientation, nor will my children be judged for being of color,” he said.