Explaining Brazil #159: Leite is no Milk

Governor Eduardo Leite of Rio Grande do Sul came out as gay. But don't expect him to be a Brazilian Harvey Milk. Instead, he might be closer to Pete Buttigieg

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.

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