Culture

In The Face Of Rampant Homophobia, Sao Paulo Hosts One Of The Largest Pride Celebrations In The World

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June is Pride month and cities across the world host major celebrations to elevate their LGBTQ community. One of the largest pride celebrations in the world is in São Paulo, Brazil. Millions of people from around the world travel to the South American city every year to celebrate the strength, beauty, diversity and acceptance of LGBTQ people. The fact that millions of people go to Brazil for pride is an act of resistance since the country has experienced a sharp increase in homophobic deaths and attacks in recent years. Here are 20 photos from São Paulo Pride that proves LGBTQ people will not be silenced by fear and hate.

Millions of people filled São Paulo’s streets for the 22nd annual gay pride parade.

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In 2017, 5 million people participated in São Paulo’s pride parade making it the largest pride celebration ever. Isn’t it beautiful to see so many people coming together to celebrate love?

Just look at all the happy, queer, Brazilian faces.

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If this doesn’t warm your heart, nothing will. How can you be so against people celebrating who they are?

People from all walks of life came out to partake in the celebration.

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And they slayed those looks, hunny. Seriously. Look at how stunning these people are.

There is just no holding back that exquisite pride feeling.

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The lesson here is to be you and not let anyone make you feel different because you love who you are. 💜

Gorgeous.

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Drag queens. Gay men. Lesbian women. Trans men and women. All of them showed up for a day of solidarity and love in Brazil’s biggest city.

Just look at that crowd.

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Usually, large crowds are a cause for panic and anxiety but these people didn’t let things get out of hand. So many people. So much to celebrate.

Some attendees took their moment to be unapologetically themselves.

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That’s what Pride is all about, being yourself without apology because we don’t have time for that.

The city looked like a moving sea of people during the parade.

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Pop stars and personalities from the US, Puerto Rico, Brazil, and other countries hit the stage to keep the party going.

Did we mention that love was on display?

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Because it was. All over the city. With every kind of relationship and couple you could imagine.

Aaaand, there was a strong contingent of artistry on display.

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Okay. Clowns might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but that’s artistic expression. Tbh, this might be the least terrifying clown to ever exist.

This queen took the cake for her own personal style.

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Mulher Mangueira is a pretty noticeable person in the Brazilian LGBTQ community. There’s little question how she stands out from the crowd.

Of course the event was sponsored by some major corporations.

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Nothing motivates people like money and now that Pride has become so accepted and popular, everyone is trying to make a buck off it. Can’t be mad about it, though.

There were a few well-placed protest signs.

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Essentially: “There is no cure for being gay.” That’s right. We are born this way and we are not going anywhere.

No pride parade is complete without Mr. Leather.

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For those of you who don’t know, the leather community is a strong community within the LGBTQ community. Every city has their own Mr. Leather and there is an International Mr. Leather. Basically, it’s Miss Universe for the leather community.

The trans community was properly represented.

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Brazil has recently made huge strides with trans rights when it comes to using your preferred name on a ballot to run for office. The country also recently ruled that trans people can use their preferred name on identification without having to get the full surgery and hormonal treatment. These are two huge decisions in a country where trans people have a life expectancy of 35 years.

Those rainbow flags were everywhere.

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Because it is pride and people love seeing all those colors flapping in the wind.

Brazilians really showed up this year for São Paulo Pride.

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And it is something we should all be supporting.

Look at how happy all these queer Brazilians are.

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Gorgeous. Every one of you. Absolutely gorgeous.

We can’t end this post without a mention of the bear community, right?

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Bears are hairy gay men who usually have a little bit of a belly.

And bears are just as cuddly as their teddy counterparts.

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💜 💜 💜

The Violence Against Women In Brazil Is Escalating And A New Study Shows That Girls Under 13 Are Being Targeted

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The Violence Against Women In Brazil Is Escalating And A New Study Shows That Girls Under 13 Are Being Targeted

jairmessiasbolsonaro / fepaesleme / Instagram

A troubling study is highlighting the horrible state of women’s safety in Brazil. This time, a non-governmental organization found that girls under the age of 13 are facing a horrific trend of rapes within the South American country. Here is what the study by the Brazilian Forum of Public Security found.

A new study shows that four girls under 13 are raped every hour in Brazil.

Credit: Saulo Cruz / Flickr

The study also found that police receive a call every two minutes to report a violent attack against a woman. The study shows a very troubling side of one of the most dangerous countries in the world for women.

“Brazil is still one of the most dangerous places in the world for women,” Valeria Scarance, a public prosecutor, told Brazilian newspaper Globo’s Jornal Nacional. “And the most dangerous place for a woman is her own home.”

To make matters worse, the Brazilian government has been stripping away crucial places of safety for women. According to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), in 2017, the Brazilian government closed 23 shelters for victims fo domestic violence citing budget cuts as the reason. The following year, Jair Bolsonaro was elected as president and it sparked fear and outrage throughout the country. At the start of 2018, the HRC also found that 1.2 million domestic violence cases were pending before courts throughout the country.

The violence against women in Brazil has been at the forefront of Brazilian protests for years, even before the Rio Olympic Games in 2016.

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In the lead up to one of the largest sporting event in the world, Brazilians protested to warn potential tourists of the crimes being committed. The famous Copacabana Beach was filled with panties and images of women who have been sexually assaulted in Brazil.

Brazilians highlighted the death of a 17-year-old girl at the hands of a group of men to warn tourists of the dangers of being in the country.

The election of Jair Bolsonaro reignited the efforts of protesters across the country to bring attention to the violence women face every day in Brazil.

Bolsonaro, like President Trump, energized the far-right of Brazil. Minority groups, women, and the indigenous defenders tried to warn the nation against electing Bolsonaro are the president of Brazil to no avail. Since taking office, Bolsonaro has attacked women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, indigenous rights, environmental rights, and anything you can really think of.

In one display of troubling rhetoric, Bolsonaro told a congresswoman that she was not worthy of being raped. He made the statement on Brazil’s TV Globo and stated he wasn’t worth rape because she was too ugly, sparking outrage.

As the world deals with injustices at the hands of apathetic governments, Brazilians are trying to fight to save women.

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The violence against women is startling in Brazil. Only time will tell if Brazilians will be able to put enough pressure on the nation’s leaders to exact the change they want to see for women’s rights.

READ: Indigenous Women Of Brazil Are Refusing To Keep Quiet Over The Country’s President’s Policies

Seven South American Nations Sign An Environmental Pact To Protect The Amazon, Just Like Three Months Too Late

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Seven South American Nations Sign An Environmental Pact To Protect The Amazon, Just Like Three Months Too Late

Guillermo Legaria / Getty Images

There is a wise old Mexican saying that goes: “Ahogado el niño se tapa el pozo“. It roughly translates as “Once the child drowns the well is shut off”. In other words, sometimes horrible things need to happen for people to react and come up with solutions or at least a bit of an effort to prevent further catastrophes. Well, that’s the feeling that we get with the recently signed pact to protect the Amazon after fires savaged los pulmones de la Madre Tierra for weeks. 

The meeting was initially called by the host and the Peruvian president, as the Sunday Star Times reports: “The host, Colombian President Ivan Duque, and his Peruvian counterpart Martin Vizcarra called for the meeting following global outrage over a surge in the number of fires in Brazil’s Amazon region this year, which triggered protests at Brazilian diplomatic missions worldwide over Bolsonaro’s alleged indifference to environmental concerns”. So what is the pact all about and what is the deal with Bolsonaro?

The pact was signed by seven South American nations.

Credit: default. Digital image. Euronews.

The signing countries are: Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru and Surinam. The pact was signed in the Colombian town of Leticia, deep in the Amazon, last Friday September 6. The pact has 14 points and it focuses on improvements to disaster response coordination among the seven countries, and increased satellite monitoring of the world’s largest rainforest. Other notable points include education around environmental matters and an increased participation of indigenous communities on policies and projects. The document also looks to curb illegal species trafficking, illegal mineral extraction, deforestation and planting of illicit crops (so, drugs). 

The host, Colombian president Ivan Duque, called for unity.

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The host said: “This meeting will live on as a co-ordination mechanism for the presidents that share this treasure – the Amazon”. But he also expressed a wider message: “We believe that this is a moral duty, our societies are increasingly aware of the need to protect our shared home, of our Mother Earth”. We certainly hope these are more that pretty words. As abuelitas say, del dicho al hecho hay mucho trecho. It is worth noting that the original owners of the land were present, as CE Noticias Financieras reports: “Representatives of indigenous communities were also present at the meeting and the instance was concretized to a traditional ceremonial area in the Monilla Amena community”. 

Notably absent was Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro, who “attended” via video conference.

Credit: Instagram. @michellebolssonaro

The Brazilian leader, who has been widely criticized for his reluctance to accept foreign aid during the fires, was at hospital at the time. Bolsonaro, however, delivered a message that can only be read as support for continuing efforts to mine indigenous reserves and protected areas. He said:  “Our riches will be utilized in a sustainable way, in accordance to the resources that we have”. We don’t have to read too much between the lines to realize that this is a somewhat veiled way to say they will continue exploiting the Amazon for its natural resources… wildlife and indigenous rights be damned. 

Only two Amazon countries did not sign the pact: Venezuela and France, who owns the French Guiana.

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Will they join in the efforts to protect the biggest single source of oxygen in the world? We certainly hope so. They also have to be held accountable!

And there were some discrepancies over the ways in which the Amazon can be saved.

Credit: Instagram. @TheForestInitiative

The participants in this meeting didn’t all see eye to eye. Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno, who was himself born in the Amazon, said: “We are killing the Earth, and all of us are responsible”. But Bolsonaro claimed that foreign countries were using the fires to conspire against the sovereignty of the regions’ nations.  So clearly out of the seven at least Brazil is looking after industry lobbyists, perhaps?

But at the end we are all responsible for our planet and the Amazon fires were yet another wake up call! 

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Environmentalists and activists in pro of animal rights stressed out the fact that the Amazon fires were in part to blame on the meat industry. While we can disagree with a total ban on meat, fact is that climate-related emergencies will be the norm rather than the exception in the coming years, and we do have to thing about our consumption habits and the ways in which we harvest riches from the land. 

Truth is, politicians will always use catastrophes to increase their profile, so we have to ALL make an effort to protect the environment.

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Perhaps we are being too cynical, but the Amazon disaster has conveniently brought out the best out of politicians. Evo Morales, for example, has had too many photo ops related to the rainforest relief efforts, right in the middle of an electoral campaign and when his long rule over Bolivia is being harshly questioned by the opposition. So it is up to us, as Latinos and as human beings, to hold those in power accountable for protecting our home.