Explaining Brazil #66: Being gay in Bolsonaro’s Brazil

This year, however, the São Paulo Pride Parade took place at a time when Brazil’s political divisions have been getting more and more intense. On one hand, the LGBT community has managed important victories, such as the Supreme Court’s decision to criminalize homophobia, or the inclusion of trans women in legislation to combat domestic violence.

At the same time, however, Brazil’s President, Jair Bolsonaro, has become something of an embodiment of homophobia in the country. In the past, he said he’d rather have a dead son than a gay son. And if his one of his children came out as gay—he promised he would “beat it out of them.”

So, what is it like to be gay in Bolsonaro’s Brazil? That’s our discussion this week.

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On this episode:

  • Juliana Costa is a growth strategist and contributor to The Brazilian Report.
  • Claudia Regina and Diego Oliveira are members of the São Paulo Pride Parade organization.
  • João Torres is an associate at Mais Diversidade, a consultancy firm focused on helping organizations become more inclusive to LGBT professionals and customers.
  • Paul Thompson is the founder of LGBT Capital, an Investment firm focused on the LGBT sector.
  • Kaerrê Neto owns LDRV, the largest Brazilian Facebook group for LGBT people.

Background reading:

  • Despite Bolsonaro, Brazil is one of the world’s top LGBTQ tourism destinations.
  • Episode #18 of Explaining Brazil talked about initiatives that fight for the social inclusion of gays, lesbians, and trans individuals. Listen now
  • How Brazilian LGBTQ people fight prejudice through art
  • For a Brazilian LGBTQ icon, “Brazil is not a liberal country” when it comes to sexuality

Explaining Brazil is made by:

  • Gustavo Ribeiro, editor in chief of The Brazilian Report. He has extensive experience covering Brazilian politics. His work has been featured across Brazilian and French media outlets, including Veja, Época, Folha de São Paulo, Médiapart and Radio France Internationale.
  • Maria Martha Bruno, producer. She is a journalist with 14 years of experience in politics, arts, and breaking news. She has collaborated with Al Jazeera, NBC, and CNN, among others, and worked as an international correspondent in Buenos Aires.
  • Euan Marshall, editing. is a journalist and translator who has lived in São Paulo, Brazil since 2011. Specializing in Brazilian soccer, politics and the connection between the two, his work has been published in The Telegraph, Al Jazeera, The Independent, among others.

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