Eduardo Leite, the 36-year-old governor of Brazil’s southernmost state Rio Grande do Sul, came out as gay last week.
For many, this was a historic act in a country where the LGBT population has very little representation in politics. Eduardo Leite is now the first openly gay state governor in Brazil’s history, and a part of society believes this could now pave the way for increased acceptance of people’s sexuality.
Others were more cynical, wondering whether the timing of Mr. Leite’s announcement is linked to his own presidential aspirations. Coming out has certainly raised Mr. Leite’s profile. But how will it affect Brazilian politics and his political goals?
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- Alex Hochuli is a São Paulo-based political analyst and host of the Aufhebunga Bunga podcast, which discusses contemporary politics.
- Brasília correspondent Renato Alves analyzes Eduardo Leite’s decision to come out as gay.
- 2020 was the year for identity politics in Brazil. Diversity won in Brazil’s elections, with more elected officials representing women, black and multiracial people, and the LGBTQI+ community.
- The growing influence of Evangelical Christians in Brazilian politics scares non-religious groups. But is it possible to separate religion and politics? Benjamin Fogel argues that it isn’t.
- Last year, Brazil’s first LGBTQ-oriented bank, Pride Bank, opened to the public. The bank is a symbol of companies’ push to attract “pink money” — a term used to describe the LGBTQ community’s purchasing power, estimated at USD 134 billion per year (BRL 722 billion).
- While Brazilians’ acceptance of homosexuality has increased over the years, far-right politians still use homophobia as a platform. In 2019, the former mayor of Rio de Janeiro staged a crusade against a comic book depicting a gay kiss.
- One organization is working to stamp out homophobia in Brazilian public security.
- Our Latin America Weekly newsletter discussed the lingering challenges for the region’s LGBTQIA+ population. In El Salvador, for instance, transphobic violence remains an endemic problem.
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