More than three million people gathered in Sao Paulo this weekend to celebrate Brazil’s gay pride. Though this marks the nation’s eleventh such celebration, it’s the first year the state’s officially sanctioned the parade. Tourism Minister, Marta Suplicy, told the press, “This is the biggest parade on the planet. Our city is showing, once again, its respect for diversity.”
Certainly three million people’s something to shout about, but we find another number more intriguing: one million. That’s how many people who came out to see Pope Benedict when he toured the nation last month.
Benedict and his Catholic cronies, of course, aren’t down with the dick diggers (or labia lovers, for that matter). The fact that more people want to celebrate gay pride than his Holiness’ world tour highlights homo power.
Yes, Brazil’s a densely populated nation and, as a Queerty friend pointed out, has a history of carnival culture, but it’s really saying something that more people care about gay pride than the pope.
Considering so many queers gathered in the world’s most populous nation, one would expect a bit of violence. Unlike some recent prides, namely Russia’s, there were no violent attacks or crimes, perhaps because the government rolled out about 900 coppers to quell anti-queer activists.
Obviously Brazil’s come a long way in recent years, but as one marchers points out, there’s still more work to be done. Sebastiao Pereira Rodrigues commented, “There is no question the prejudice we have suffered for years has diminished a lot. But it’s still there and we still a long way to go.” Luckily Rodrigues and his ilk have lots of friends. Good thing, too.
The day before Pride, one million Evangelicals took to the streets to “March for Jesus”. During said March they, what else, damned the gays. Hopefully the gays proved their point this weekend…