Things That Matter

Brazil’s President Told A Reporter He Had A “Homosexual’s Face” At A Truly Bizarre Press Conference

Brazil’s LGBTQ+ community has faced significant challenges in the past few years. The primarily Catholic country tends to experience high levels of homophobia based on religious dogma. Trans women in Brazil are not only discriminated against, but also harmed and murdered at dramatic rates, some of the highest in the world. Added to this, the far-right is back in power and Jair Bolsonaro, a businessman who many compare to Donald J Trump for his populist discourse and extreme conservative views, is the president.

Like Trump, Bolsonaro often blames the media for everything, Bolsonaro is particularly wary of the conglomerate Globo (like Trump is, say, of CNN). He has constantly accused the media of bias and also made derogatory comments against women and minorities. His mishandling of the Amazon fires and the imperialist approach he has to indigenous communities are also infamous. 

Bolsonaro is outspoken and sometimes seems to just wing it in speeches, saying outrageous things that are both often half-truths and testament to his intransigent worldview (does it sound eerily familiar?). A recent episode evidences just how deeply flawed Bolsonaro’s views on diversity are and how threatening the current sociopolitical climate is for LGBTQ+ Brazilians is. 

So during a press conference Bolsonaro was asked about his son’s alleged acts of corruption.

Credit: EuroNews / Giphy

Brazil, after all, is part of Latin America, a region where politicians and presidents are infamous for being either corrupt or having shady family or friends. So one would assume that the Brazilian president would know how to respond to questions about corruption among his family members. It literally is the bread and butter of Latin American politics.

Well, Bolsonaro was confronted by a reporter, who asked him about his son, Senator Flavio Bolsonaro, and claims that point to institutional corruption that leads to him.

As The Telegraph UK reports, during a heated exchange “Mr Bolsonaro accused the press of bias against him and his son, Senator Flavio Bolsonaro, who is being investigated by prosecutors in Rio de Janeiro over allegations that he hired staff with no duties while he was a state legislator.”

The Senator has also been accused of hiring “ghost workers” in the past. The younger Bolsonaro has denied these allegations and conservative groups in Brazil point towards a left-wing, Lula-supporting conspiracy against the Bolsonaro administration. 

So did the president keep his cool? Nah! He lashed out against the reporter saying he had “a homosexual’s face”. Yes, he went there! Like, WTF dude?

Think about the worst that a politician can say and you will not even be close to what Bolsonaro told the reporter. Ready? Here it goes: “Your face looks an awful lot like a homosexual’s, but that’s no reason to accuse you of being a homosexual.”

Let’s unpack this a little bit: he basically argued that there is a “homosexual” type of face (which is the first sign of discrimination, which starts with generalizations) and he implied that homosexuality is wrong, something that people can be “accused” of. His supporters and staff laughed as he said this, while the opposition took on social media to post head shots of themselves with the caption “homosexual face”.

Bolsonaro is famous for his incendiary comments, of course, as The Telegraph reminds us: “Mr Bolsonaro has a history of making derogatory remarks about women, gay people and racial minorities, including on last year’s campaign trail, though such comments have been less frequent since he took office at the beginning of this year.” It seems like his PR team is trying to reign him in, but he sometimes goes off script and chaos follows.

But what on Earth is a “homosexual’s face”? Perhaps this?

Mr Bolsonaro, Ricky Martin is definitely much hotter than you, you gotta give him that. If this is a “homosexual face” then, damn, that reporter is lucky. 

What about this gorgeous queer face?

Miss Spain Patricia Yurena has come out as gay. Is this what you meant by a “homosexual’s face”, Mr Bolsonaro?

Or perhaps the mug of Puerto Rican boxer Orlando Cruz?

We wonder if Bolsonaro, or anyone in his circle for that matter, would dare to mock Cruz based on him being gay. He packs a mean punch! Orlando came out a few years ago and rocked a sport which is based on a very set idea of what masculinity is. The boxing community was surprisingly supportive and homophobic comments were highly criticized. 

Are these faces in Sao Paolo what you would describe as “homosexual”, Mr Bolsonaro?

Credit: VamosGay.com

We got a question for you, Jair. Are you as proud about yourself as these brave Brazilians? Nah, we didn’t think so. 

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com