Gay Couple Attacked In São Paulo. Is There a Problem Down Rio Way?

Made In Brazil reports on a gay bashing in São Paulo, Brazil over the weekend: A gay couple was leaving Sonique Bar (at right) on Bela Cintra Street when two men began yelling anti-gay slurs and announced the couple “had to die,” before launching into a physical attack. One of the victims ended up with a broken leg.

As MIB points out, this isn’t the first bashing in Sao Paolo this year—and earlier this summer the city council approved a Heterosexual Pride Day.

Back in 2006, 10 to 15 skinheads attacked young gays and lesbians in a traditionally LGBT hangout, sending several to the hospital with serious wounds. After that attack, Mix Brasil reported, one activist said,  “It is unbelievable this is happening again in São Paulo in 2006. I remember the case of Edson Néris, who was brutally beaten to death by skinheads in the city’s Praça da República.”

Sao Paulo has a large and vibrant LGBT population and one of the biggest Pride celebrations in the world.  Obviously bashings happen even in large gay meccas like San Francisco and New York City. So are these incidents in Brazil isolated or a sign of a larger crisis?

An ex-pat commented in the Made In Brazil story:

“This does not impress me one bit, I remember when I lived in Brazil 16 years ago, at the time I was 11 y/o, I was terribly bullied by every kid in school or out in the neighborhood. The parents of these kids never did anything to stop them. No wonder why now, years later they are attacking gays. Had they been disciplined then this would not happen.

I now live in Boston/US and here I can live a freely and open life with my partner and I know that there are laws protecting us.

I believe this will be a forever issue with Brazil, as much as I love my home country, I fear to take my partner to see where I came from, even though both of our families and friends are very much aware of our sexuality and partnership. My fear is that something like this might happen.

It seems that crimes like this are happening much more often and people are often getting away with it!

It’s a shame! Beautiful country, Beautiful people, some with a brain the size of a golf ball.

As our Brazilian friends would say, “O que se passa?!?!”

Source: Made In Brazil via Towleroad; Image via


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  • Marcio


    Just one correction: the Heterosexual Pride Day was refused for the Mayor and this subject is not in discussion anymore.

    I live in São Paulo, Brazil, next to this bar and I have to say that unfortunately these accidents have occurred are the result of increased exposure to gays in society and has had the greatest advances made by the LGBT community in Brazil.

  • Thiago

    Walking on Avenida Paulista at night is sorta like playing Live Action Golden Axe, unfortunately. Watch out for groups NPCs using creative weaponry, possibly riding beasts.

    Hey, it’s expat, not ex-pat lol :D

  • CJ

    I’ve lived in Brazil and the USA and have noticed that both countries struggle with LGBT rights, homophobia and hate crimes in different (and simliar) ways. It would be naive to think that Brazil is exempt from hate crimes against those in the LGBT community – and it would be naive to assume that we don’t have the same problems here. There are many non-LGBT persons that are very open and tolerant in Brazil AND in the USA also. Both countries are making progress in LGBT rights. Brazil allows same-sex immigration. Does the USA? The USA has DOMA… and yet the Brazil Supreme Court has said ruled that gays and lesbians deserve equal protections and equal rights, including in civil unions. In some states in the USA you can get married to same-sex partners… and the same in Brazil. In Brazil there are corrupt police officers that are homophobic and racist. The same exists in the USA. Both countries have their problems – and many other countries around the globe are slowly progressing towards equality while still battling with homophobia, equality and hate. Like many have realized, much of the acceptance is coming from younger generations AND through many in the political arena that support equality. There wouldn’t be an “It gets better” campaign in the USA if everything here was amazing for gay and lesbian youth. And, as adults, we also face prejudices, bullying and hate crimes. So, I find this article misleading in asking the question if there is a “larger crisis” or not. YES, there is a larger crisis. Homophobia and hate still exists in Brazil – and in the USA. I’ve lived in both countries and oftentimes it really does depend upon where you live and if you happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. That can occur in San Francisco or on the gay beaches of Ipanema or gay streets of Sao Paulo. It also includes Buenos Aires, Madrid, New York and South Beach. Progress is occurring and yet hate and intolerance continues. It may be better or worse in some cities or countries. Regardless, no matter what city I’m in, whether it is in the USA or Brazil I still know that many people judge and hate – and that I still don’t have full equality. Even our liberal US President doesn’t support full marital equality even though he himself is a minority and is a Democrat. Every country has its problems. Be thankful you live in Canada, Brazil, the USA, the UK or other countries that are more ahead than China and North Korea. Progress is coming. But, we need to press for it through our culture, politics and any means we can. MLK didn’t sit at home. He had a dream and he communicated that message. The more we speak up, the more injustice becomes visible.

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