Trip number 17 or 18 since January 2012 (I could go back and count, but it’s not that pertinent except to note that I have been down here a lot in the last year and a half).
I was saddened to find out that I would be missing the Gay Pride festival and Pride Parade in Salt Lake City this year, when a Brazilian friend advised me via Facebook that I was to “bring your camera and don’t put your wallet or iPhone in your back pocket and show up at Avenida Paulista on Sunday.”
Gay Pride São Paulo style. I’m told it’s the largest in the world, but then again, Sydney made that claim for their equivalent “Mardi Gras”, which I attended in 2007. It had some 10,000 marchers and 300,000 viewers. Let’s see if Sampa can top that!
The interesting thing is that this all takes place a block from my hotel, so it should be easy to get there and back.
I wandered out this afternoon and stumbled across an impromptu (and much smaller) Lesbian parade.
Based on their signage and pleas, I quickly understood that homosexuality is much more dangerous and unaccepted here in Brazil. While there seems to be a general sense of tolerance in São Paulo, I don’t see that as much from the government, the cities/people in the interior and society in general. I would hazard a guess that they are 10 years behind the US in many areas — which surprises me considering how far we are behind the rest of the civilized world.
The world is changing and thanks to people like these who marched today and will march en masse tomorrow, attention will be paid and tolerance and acceptance should increase.