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Brazil: Hetero Pride or Homo Intolerance?

On August 2, 2011, the city council of Sao Paulo, Brazil, established Heterosexual Pride Day, an event to be celebrated on the third Sunday in December. The project, proposed by evangelical Christian Councilor and gay rights opponent [pt] Carlos Apolinario, from the Democrats Party (DEM), was approved in assembly in a symbolic vote that presupposes automatic approval regardless of the actual outcome, which in this case counted on 20 councilors voting against and 19 in favor.

Following the announcement of the approval, anger and outrage took over the blogosphere and Twittersphere. Gay and straight netizens alike proved disgusted with the institution of a day that, for many, means the strengthening of a growing homophobic wave in the country.

Cartoon by Carlos Latuff, under free use license

Cartoon by Carlos Latuff, under free use license

Advocacy or intolerance?

According to several netizens, it makes no sense to dedicate a day to a social majority group that has never suffered any prejudice. Teacher Tulio Vianna considers [pt]:

Quando os homossexuais fazem sua “parada do orgulho gay”, eles manifestam-se por respeito à sua orientação sexual. Quando os heterossexuais fazem uma “parada do orgulho hetero” eles manifestam sua intolerância por orientações sexuais diversas.

When homosexuals have their “gay pride parade” they manifest themselves out of respect for their sexual orientation. When heterosexuals have a “straight pride parade” they reveal their intolerance for diverse sexual orientations.

Activist Juliana Freitas also questions [pt] the need for a “straight claim” and prefers to call “Hetero Pride Day” the “Day of Shame”, seeing as there are not any reported cases of violence against straight people due to their sexuality.

Teacher and feminist activist Lola Aronovich reflects [pt] about this concept:

Pense nos privilégios que um hétero tem. Quando você sentiu vergonha de ser hétero? […] Quando você foi discriminado por ser hétero? […] ter orgulho de ser hétero é querer celebrar a sorte que você tem simplesmente por ter nascido hétero. […] Ninguém vai te expulsar do recinto, ninguém vai te bater ou matar, ninguém vai querer te transformar, ninguém vai dizer que se envergonha de ser seu pai/mãe, ninguém vai pensar que sua orientação sexual é depravada ou relacioná-la à pedofilia, ninguém vai te despedir do emprego por causa da sua heterossexualidade, ninguém vai dizer que o que você faz é pecado e que você vai arder no inferno por conta disso.

Think about the privileges that a straight person has. When did you last feel ashamed of being straight? […] When were you last discriminated for being straight? […] To be proud of being straight is wanting to celebrate how lucky one is of simply having been born straight. […] No one will kick you out of the room, nobody will beat you or kill you, no one will want to transform you, nobody will say he/she is ashamed of being your father / mother, no one will think that their sexual orientation is depraved or relate it pedophilia, no one will fire you from your job because of your heterosexuality, no one will say that what you do is a sin and that you will burn in hell because of it.

For the activist João Pedro, initiatives such as the Hetero Pride Day “only reinforce and encourage homophobic attacks, causing injuries and deaths to thousands of Gays, Lesbians, Transvestites and Transsexuals”, as he points out [pt]:

A cada 2 dias morrem 3 homossexuais, simplesmente por serem gays no Brasil. Nenhum heterossexual perde sua vida ou é agredido moral ou fisicamente simplesmente por terem essa opção sexual.

Every two days, three homosexuals are killed in Brazil simply for being gay. No straight person loses his/her life as neither he/she is moral or physically assaulted simply due to this sexual orientation

A matter of privilege

The journalist Liuca Yonaha, on the blog O filtro (The filter), reproduces [pt] the “justification” of Councilor Apolinário for the proposal of a bill which basically focuses on the criminalization of the right to show affection in public spaces and on the television:

Será que os homossexuais entende (sic) como direito à liberdade, (sic) dois bigodudos entrarem em um restaurante e ficarem se beijando sem respeitar os demais clientes daquele estabelecimento?

Eles deveriam ter um comportamento adequado a nossa sociedade e deixar os beijos e afetos para os lugares reservados ou suas casas.

Acontece que os homossexuais não se satisfazem com o anonimato e para chamarem atenção começam a exigir direitos que se quer (sic) os heteros têm; se comportam de forma inadequada e muitas vezes agridem verbalmente aqueles que não concordam com suas idéias e depois querem que a sociedade aceite este comportamento.

Sou casado há 32 anos, nem por isso me acho no direito de ficar beijando excessivamente minha esposa em público para com isso demonstrar o carinho que tenho por ela.

Could it be that homosexuals understand the right to freedom as two men with mustaches entering a restaurant and kissing each other with no due respect towards the other customers of that establishment?

They should have behave appropriately in our society and leave the kisses and affection for their private places or homes.

It turns out that homosexuals are not satisfied with anonymity and in order to call attention start demanding rights not even straight people have; they behave inappropriately and often verbally attack those who disagree with their ideas, and then want society to accept this behavior.

I have been married for 32 years, and even so I don't think I have the right to kiss my wife publicly to show the love I have for her.

Accused of homophobia, the councilor defended himself, stating [pt] that he has a gay hairdresser and makeup artist and that he is only fighting against “privileges” pursuited by gay people that go beyong the rights everyone has:

@Apolinario_SP: Câmara SP aprovou meu projeto que cria o Dia do Hétero. Respeito os gays, mas sou contra excessos e privilégios.http://migre.me/5pq8l

@Apolinario_SP: The city council of SP [Sao Paulo] approved my project for the creation of a Hetero Day. I respect gay people but I am against excess and privilege. http://migre.me/5pq8l

On Twitter some users such as Shara Maia (@SharaMaia1) and João Pedro (@joaopedrocrf) supported the project using the hashtag #diadoorgulhobabaca (jerk pride day). The discussion triggered in response to a tweet from student Isabella de Amorim, ended up with her decision to delete it:

@isabellacbsa: E se é pra ter direitos iguais, deveria SIM existir o dia do orgulho hétero, já que existe o dia do orgulho gay. #diadoorgulhobabaca

@isabellacbsa: And if it is for the equal rights, YES there should be hetero pride day, seeing that there is a gay pride day. #diadoorgulhobabaca

Rosangela Basso, from the blog Maria da Penha Neles suggests [pt] with irony:

"Criminalize Homophobia". Image under free use.

"Criminalize Homophobia". Image under free use.

Próximos dias de orgulho a serem criados:

- dia do orgulho branco
– dia do orgulho de não ser deficiente físico
– dia do orgulho racista
– dia do orgulho de ser rico
– dia do orgulho de ser homofóbico

The next pride days to be created: 

- white pride day
– not physically disabled pride day
– racist pride day
– wealthy pride day
– homophobic pride day

On Twitter, the vlogger PC Siqueira (@pecesiqueira), the producer Otávio Ugá (@otaviouga) and the journalist Daniel Lélis (@danlelis) also adopted humour to criticize:

@pecesiqueira: Porque é lógico que nós héteros que ao longo da história sofremos repressão e preconceito precisamos de um dia para afirmar nossa condição.

@pecesiqueira: Because it is logical that we, the straight who have suffered repression and prejudice throughout history, need a day to affirm our position.

@otaviouga@pablovillaca Homossexuais são muito egoístas. Vamos também lutar pela união civil entre heterossexuais do mesmo sexo! Orgulho Hétero.

@otaviouga: @pablovillaca Homosexuals are very selfish. Let's also fight for civil union rights between heterosexuals of the same sex! Hetero Pride.

@dannlelis: Orgulho Hétero aprovado. Agora heterossexuais de SP poderão “enfim” andar de mãos dadas na rua e até beijar em público. Valeu, Apolinário!

@dannlelis: Hetero pride approved. Now the straight people from Sao Paulo can “at last” walk the street holding hands and even kissing in public. Nice one, Apolinario!

On YouTube, a vídeo from izaiaspcjr criticizes the creation of the Hetero Pride Day:

The project must be sanctioned by the city's Mayor Gilberto Kassab to become a law. Conceição Oliveira hopes [pt] “that a thread of dignity remains in Kassab and that he vetoes such absurd day”. Councilor Jamil Murad has published [pt] an article on his blog criticising the event's approval and homophobia in general.

‘Orgulho Hétero’ (Hetero Pride) and the hashtag #diadoorgulhobabaca (jerk pride day) been trending topics in Brazil and have gathered thousands of critics of the law. Federal (and evangelical) Congressman Eduardo Cunha (PMDB-RJ), known for having proposed a law that criminalizes “heterophobia” [pt] and for being against gay rights announced [pt] he will propose a national hetero pride day.

There is an online petition [pt] that asks for Kassab to veto the project; federal Congressman Jean Wyllys has mobilized [pt] to convince the mayor not to approve such bill.

  • I do not know I think the hetero pride is so immature, the main reason lgbt’s celebrate the gay pride is to show that you are not ashamed of your sexuality and to advance gay rights lobbying for equal benefits (ignore the skin exposed) pun intended.

    When the said man sez special privileges that homosexuals enjoy and str8s do not!!! Is so… Privileges to what really??! Councilor Carlos Apolinário might not be a homophobe but that is not clever.

  • Pingback: Hetero Harrotasuna ala homofobia? – zuzeu.com()

  • Youri

    Well I think that the privilege homosexuals enjoy is to have a gay parade once a year.
    So.. why can’t heterosexuals have one? Well, whatever. I don’t think it’s that much of a deal.

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