The recent weeks have seen several large and diverse crowds gathering in the streets of many cities in Brazil and some other countries. The festivities and celebrations were not painted only with the World Cup colors. The month of June has become also known as the gay pride month, and the pride parades which sent millions of people to the streets are a strong sign that the movement is going mainstream.
The São Paulo pride parade became famous this year as the largest of its kind on the planet, and an event of such magnitude is sure to produce waves of ideas and emotions expressed in accounts, pictures and debates throughout the lusophone blogosphere.
“The 10th annual Sao Paulo Gay Pride Parade gathered 2.4 million people in the skyscraper-lined Avenue Paulista — the financial heart of Brazil's biggest city. Last year it was 1.8 million. The theme was ‘Homophobia is a crime’. But the event has abandoned the speeches and has turned into one of the biggest parties in the city. The protesting banners and cars manifesting creative phrases about the homosexual condition were gone and were replaced by a carnival of techno music, with ‘trio eletricos’ hanging big displays of its corporate sponsors”
BRASIL: Gay Parade brings 2,4 million people to Avenida Paulista – PortugalGay.pt
“The attendance at the Gay Pride Parade in São Paulo broke a new record on this Saturday. According to the police, the event — in its 10th annual edition — gathered 2.5 million. The organizers believe in a bigger number: 3 million.”
Gay Parade stablish a new record gathering 2,5 million people in SP – dubaBado!!
“according to her, Mrs. Mainstream Conservative Press, we were 1.8 million in 2005 and were 2 million or 2.5 million in 2006. sometimes, for the same flaccid press organ we were 2 million at one time, 2.5 million at another — as if 500 thousand gays, lesbians, transgenders, bisexuals, heterosexuals and the many in between them would all disappear and reappear like a blinker, swallowed by a invisible giant closet, and then sent back, to be again abducted.”(anti)conception pills: gay parade – Pedro Alexandre Sanches
There are 58 pride parades scheduled to happen this year, only in Brazil. And they are in fact, mainly sponsored by the government. The unusual model has its suporters and detractors.
“The 58 pride parades were some of the projects selected by the Public Contest of GLBT Culture Support of the Cultural Diversity and Identity Secretariat, announced on the 23th. The other 29 selected projects are the publishing of books, producing shows, and movie festivals. São Paulo, for example, will receive money to implement the Out of the Closet University.”
Brasil will have 58 gay parades until the end of the year – Agência GLS
“As Cristaldo said in 2004, at the time of the first homosexual parades sponsored with tax-payer money, ‘in this incredible country homosexuality is culture. And even more: it has become a state issue. With just a little more we will have a Homobrás, like we have a Petrobrás [the state oil monopoly] — the homosexuality that is ours’. In the universe of nations, Brazil shines. We were capable of creating the state-recognized gay”
O Gay Estatal – The Tosco Way of Life
“The government is giving more than R$ 1 million to gay parades. The resources double the amount given for these events in 2005 and come from the Ministry of Health Aids programs, causing some noise among NGOs, health councils and the Federal Public Ministry. The sponsorship is being criticized by those who believe that health money should only be used in the direct combat of diseases. These sectors are not against the public sponsorship of the parades, but they are questioning the use of the resources of the Aids Programs which they say should be focused exclusively on the acquisition of medicines, treatments and prevention campaigns, among other things.”
How much will be given to the ‘March for Jesus'? – De tudo um pouco…
From what we could see in the Lusophone blogs, this debate about parades maybe indicative of a deeper cultural clash. There are two opposing tribes that almost met on the same avenue in São Paulo this year — the gays and the evangelicals. The mainstream media seem to be giving a low profile to both of these cultural movements until now, perhaps because Brazil as a nation contains a strong Catholic influence. This ambivalence has raised protests from both sides who firmly believe they should be the ones to be supported.
“I'm in front of the screen on the faculty computer at 9 on a Saturday morning — that's where I am now to post on this blog. I know it's been a long time since I did that, and to correct that I am here again to talk about an issue which I and at least 3 million more people (the attendance of São Paulo's pride parade) are interested in: How gays are treated by the media? What gay image is being shown by TV, internet and ad campaigns? This year we had a kiss between two men censored in a Globo soap opera. And this same TV network presents comedy shows that are especially heavy with satire of gays, while the other open TV channels always work with stereotyped images of the classic gay in their programs.”
The Gay media – Planeta Junkex
“In 2006, the ‘March for Jesus’ and the ‘Pride Parade’ happened on Avenue Paulista within the short span of 2 days. Although being so close in time, their goals and compositions are very distant. While one exalts homosexuality, the other goes for Jesus. One intends that men and women remain in homosexual sin. The other offers hope and the way out, in Jesus, for all sinners…. If the liberal media treated the gay parades the same way they deal with the ‘Marches for Jesus’, the gay agenda would deservedly be ignored and confined to an insignificant number of mediocre minds.”
March for Jesus or Gay Parade: Who is the real victim of prejudice? – Julio Severo
“Oh c'mon… The evangelicals own a party (PL), a TV network (Record), 200 representatives in Congress, and also the Vice President, who is from PL, and they still complain of being ‘under represented'? … ai, ai … It's clear to me that if I declared myself an evangelical (God help me!) I would suffer much less prejudice than if I would assume the position being a bisexual.”
March of Jesus or Gay Parade??? – Elemento BI
We can't forget that we are already well into the vigorous campaign period of the election year in Brazil, and there are not many things happening here without being influenced by and understood in terms of the polarized dispute between Lula and the other candidates.
“It's evident that Lula's government is completely dedicated to attending to the gay militant's interests. Lula himself declared public support for the homosexual movement by saying: ‘any way of loving is worthy’. His government has managed to finance directly many of those ‘pride’ parades all over Brazil. The goal is to break the people's resistance through ‘educational’ campaigns.”
Brazil without Homophobia: what Lula's government is doing to impose homossexualims in Brazil – Julio Severo
“Last week it was the sonic bombing from religions (The Snow Ball Church). Today Florianópolis is hosting the gay parade, named ‘First Diversity Parade’. The media from Santa Catarina state has been talking about the event moved by the ‘politically correct’ ideology. Relativism above all: whatever comes from minorities, particularities, ‘quota-ists’ or marginals is intrinsically good and lovable in this camping club called Brazil. Universal values? No… this is ‘bourgeoisie’, ‘hetero’, ‘conservative’ talk.”
Relativism über alles – *BLOG do TAMBOSI*
Apart from the political dispute, we can still find an interesting mosaic composed by the diverse views posted by the bloggers on how they experience the pride parades and their effectiveness in promoting the gay cause in society.
“Last Sunday (June 18) I was watching the ‘Jornal da Tarde’ in channel 1, when there was a report of another Gay Parade, this time in México. The report was not showing anything interesting, just images from the parade where you could see eccentric people proudly shouting how gay they were. The reporter summed up by saying that from now to the end of August there will be many more Gay Parades — in New York, Paris , Madrid, Málaga , Berlin and Lisbon. At the end, the comments at my lunch table were: ‘What for?’, and in fact I couldn't find a credible reason. What is the reason for thousands of gays and some sympathizing heteros (using the available labels so that all can understand) to gather and parade on the streets? Is it to show they exist? Is it to demand something? I sincerely don't know, but I really think that it is all a case of absolute lack of taste… because the images they present (I hope this is not a planned effect) is that the alternative crowd is composed of eccentrics, irrationals and the promiscuous…. If this is not their aim, they really have to change the strategy…. What about living their ordinary lives without having this need to stupidly showing themselves to the world? I never saw any hetero parade…. And there are plenty of them. Well… here is my rant!”
gay parade – gmc, igo ou simplesmente gonçalo
“Lots of people find this Gay Parade stuff silly and I also sometimes think it is not worth the effort… the parade is full of ‘stereotypes': men dressed as women (as if all gays were like that, what is a lie), women on Harley motorcycles and macho appearance (which is also not true)… in fact, the Gay Parade is a big carnival… The ‘Folha de SP’ newspaper published a poll on Friday showing that many of those present in the Parade are heterosexuals — that is really cool, a proof that society is opening itself to diversity — and that many homosexuals are into long time relationships, with kids! That's also cool! People perceive that we are citizens in families and that we deserve respect!”
Today is Gay Parade day – The son I wish to have
“I went there, in the Gay Parade! :}
man, it was hilarious!
they were funny, those drag gren (or something like that, i don't know how to write, it's those men that dress like women, you know?!) i went there just to WATCH, it's OBVIOUS! x)
my God, it's the devil's shame! ;p
but that's it?!
what can we do?!
they are like they want to be! :/
it was just to post something!:p
I WENT… – S2 Júlia S2
“I wonder if the gay community, aiming to achieve equal rights with heteros, could go beyond the parades and try to organize less festive manifestations. Besides the Drag Queens, what else appears in the TV, newspapers, etc?! So much work, so much noise, to get 15 seconds on the news, about which nobody gives a damn?! I wonder if society would approach the cause differently if that was the case. As the same sex relationship is normal for the gay people, for heteros it is an abnormality! I am not talking about being accepted by the church (maybe it can change in five centuries), but in civil terms, many countries already accept the union. How was this possible? Was it achieved with parades, whistles, Village People and Drag Queens, or with concrete actions and serious debate?”
Curitiba's GAY Parade – Photo lucidum
With so many parades occurring in different regions of this country of incredible diversity of all kinds, Brazilian bloggers are sometimes posting about radically different contexts while reporting the same issue. It is full of interesting nuances.
“While surfing on the news websites from Porto Velho [in the Amazonian state of Rondonia] my attention was called to the headline of an article about the lack of police forces to guarantee safeness in the gay parade, and when I went to read the note, check out what I saw: ‘The Rondonian gays, who were historically always beaten by the state police, tried to make a good neighborhood policy with the force, paying homage to Colonel Angelina Ramirez, the commandant. However, the payback was the disdain from the public service’. It's a transcript of how it is published there.”
HEIN? – BANZEIROS
“I think the special moment of insight comes at the end when tourists start to remember they have to pay to get back home, and the young guy remembers that after a week of having fun he will have to go back to his homophobic parents, and the young girl finds out she had not found her twin soul, that the momentous lovers perceive they will never be corresponded in their longing, and that the magic of a whole week of sexual diversity in São Paulo has ended.”
Still about the Gay Parade in São Paulo – blog do renato
“It lacked promotion, organization… Besides that, we had everything and the single ones had plenty of mouths to kiss. I kissed a lot but for no advantage, cause we always end up alone. I am and I am not satisfied.”
gay parade in Brasilia – Espaço de lucia barbara de freitas
“‘When marriage seemed on its way to becoming obsolete, substituted by cohabitation with no bigger meaning, here come the gays to end up with this shameful situation’ [Verissimo, writer, March 2004]. In the last twenty years, more than 1.700 homosexuals were murdered in Brazil, according to Bahia's Aids Prevention Support Group (GAPA). In the majority of the cases, the motivation of the murders is homophobia, and this term is used to represent the hate against another sexual orientation.”
Gay Parade – Tita Ferreira
“The theme is friendship, and we hope that this slogan will diminish the prejudice and humanize the social relations by creating an environment of friendship in the family, in the work and in the daily life of all homosexuals.”
Gay Parade in Bahia – E aí meu Rei?
“two million, 2.5 million, it doesn't matter how many millions. we are millions. millions of differents because they are equal, millions of equals, because they are different. on this day, at least during this day, there won't be big macho men passing by with their big macho cars who will manage to shout those tired and old lines which they bravely belch on the other 364 days of the year, and there won't be any phobic lady to make that mourning face in front of the scene (oh, what an unconceivable scene!) of ‘two men kissing’. on this day, the crowd reigns — and it has all the colors, sexes, forms, flags; all of them, all of them, all of them. on this day the minorities unify themselves in one unique, utopian and temporary majority.”
(anti)conception pills: gay parade – Pedro Alexandre Sanches
We could go on quoting these voices and still find lots of different and uniquely valid approaches in this discourse, but I will close the post with a personal insight that seems inspiring to me: I am glad to live in these times where it's finally possible to freely manifest inner feelings, even if they will sound spacey and weird to my neighbor.