Showing posts with label Brazil. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Brazil. Show all posts

January 4, 2019

Nikki Haley Praises Brazil President as He Goes After the LGBT Community on His First Day

Image result for nikki haley in brazil anti lgbt
 Haley and Brazil's New President Bolsonaro

United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley is receiving flak on Twitter for praising the election of Jair Bolsonaro, a right-wing politician who has made homophobic and racist statements, to the presidency of Brazil.
"Congratulations to Brazil’s new President Bolsonaro," Haley tweeted on Tuesday. "It’s great to have another U.S.-friendly leader in South America, who will join the fight against dictatorships in Venezuela and Cuba, and who clearly understands the danger of China’s expanding influence in the region." Many quickly took to Twitter to express their displeasure with Haley's praise.
"Told female lawmaker she wasn't pretty enough to rape. Would rather son be dead than gay. Praised Brazil's former dictatorship, but chided them for not simply executing dissidents rather than torturing them. Brags about evading taxes. Calls immigrants 'scum.' You've got a type," tweeted Dennis Perkins of The AV Club.
Medhi Hasan, a columnist from The Intercept, tweeted that "GOP ‘moderate’ Nikki Haley praises Brazilian neo-fascist Bolsonaro."
Washington Post columnist Brian Klaas had a similar observation, tweeting that "Bolsonaro is transparently trying to become Brazil’s dictator. He is a far-right neo-fascist. He has openly advocated for the government to murder tens of thousands of Brazilians. He also compared indigenous people to animals in a zoo, bashed gay people, and 'joked' about rape." Gabe Ortiz from Daily Kos perhaps summed up the consensus view by tweeting, ".@NikkiHaley, @SecPompeo cheer as Bolsonaro leads Brazil into an era of racism, sexism and violent homophobia."
Bolsonaro has made a number of controversial and hateful statements. In 2011, he told Playboy Magazine that "I would be incapable of loving a homosexual son. I won’t be a hypocrite: I prefer a son to die in an accident than show up with a mustachioed guy. He’d be dead to me anyway."
Three years later, he insulted a congresswoman by saying that "she doesn’t deserve to be raped because she’s very ugly. She’s not my type. I would never rape her. I’m not a rapist, but if I were, I wouldn’t rape her because she doesn’t deserve it." In 2017, Bolsonaro insulted residents of a quilombo (a community comprised of the descendants of escaped slaves) by saying, "They don’t do anything! I don’t think they even serve for procreation anymore." A year after that, he pretended to fire a machine gun while proclaiming that "we’re going to execute the Workers’ Party members here!"
He followed up on his offensive campaign remarks with a striking pair of executive orders targeting LGBT and indigenous people in Brazil on his first day in office, The Associated Press reported on Wednesday:
One of the orders issued late Tuesday, hours after his inauguration, likely will make it all but impossible for new lands to be identified and demarcated for indigenous communities. Areas set aside for "Quilombolas," as descendants of former slaves are known, are also affected by the decision.
Another order removed the concerns of the LGBT community from consideration by the new human rights ministry.
Praise for Bolsonaro wasn't the only controversial tweet that Haley sent out in her waning hours as America's ambassador to the United Nations.
On Tuesday she stirred up sympathy among conservatives by tweeting, "Due to State Dept rules that were changed by the outgoing administration, I have had to clear my personal Twitter account that I have had for years. The followers, the history, the pictures, and all other content. Please refollow and retweet this to your friends. Here’s to 2019!"
Later that day she also tweeted, "UNESCO is among the most corrupt and politically biased UN agencies. Today the U.S. withdrawal from this cesspool became official. ❤️

October 30, 2018

Brazilians Including Many LGBT Elect Anti Gay Far Right Candidate as President

                                     Image result for Jair Bolsonaro

By Zoe Sullivan
OLINDA, BRAZIL — Far-right Brazilian lawmaker Jair Bolsonaro, the so-called Trump of the Tropics, was elected president of the world’s fourth-largest democracy on Sunday. Once considered unelectable due, in part, to his long history of offensive comments — he implied women who are raped “deserve it” and has said he’d be “incapable of loving a homosexual son” — the 63-year-old former military captain proved his detractors wrong.
While many of the Latin American country’s marginalized communities have questioned what Bolsonaro’s leadership could mean for them, Brazil’s LGBTQ population is particularly concerned.
“This is a major worry for us,” Rivonia Rodrigues, a member of the Pernambuco LGBTQ Forum, told NBC News. “This is not just a question of partisan politics: It’s a question of survival."
Rodrigues said since Bolsonaro started leading in the presidential polls, people have become more emboldened in terms of publicly expressing anti-gay views. “There’s always someone shouting from a car, 'You are all going to die now,’” she said.


Toni Reis, president of Brazil’s National LGBTQ Alliance, which boasts 650 members across the country, had a more measured response to Bolsonaro's victory.
“To the extent possible, we will try to have a dialogue with this government,” Reis told NBC News.
People pose in front of a billboard in Portuguese that reads "Not Him," in reference to presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro, during the Gay Pride Parade in Niteroi, Brazil, on Sept. 23, 2018.Silvia Izquierdo / AP
While he said the prospect of negotiating with Bolsonaro, who has been openly hostile to the gay community for decades, maybe a challenge, he said his organization accepts the election result as part of the democratic process. Bolsonaro, who has been compared to Philippines' strongman Rodrigo Duterte, defeated his Workers’ Party rival Fernando Haddad by double digits.
Reis said a national Datafolha poll released on the eve of the presidential election gave him hope: “We are really happy to see that 75 percent of Brazilians believe society should accept homosexuals,” he said.


Before Bolsonaro threw his hat into the presidential ring, he had a reputation for racist, sexist and homophobic remarks. In his decades as a Congressman, he has been particularly vocal about his distaste for gays: He has said that he would rather his son die in an accidentthan be gay; has advocated that parents should beat being gay out of their children; and in 2013 proclaimed, “Yes, I am homophobic — and very proud of it.”
Nonetheless, a national survey found that nearly a third of Brazil’s LGBTQ community supported the controversial candidate. Tiago Pavinatto, a 34-year-old gay attorney in Brazil, spoke to Bloomberg News about his support of Bolsonaro. In his interview, he pointed out that those tracking LGBTQ murders in the country have seen found a steady increase since 2000.
“Militants talk about the large number of gays killed in Brazil, but who was in charge of the country for 14 years?” Pavinatto asked. The answer to his question, of course, is the Workers’ Party, which was defeated by Bolsonaro on Sunday. While Bolsonaro has vowed to be tough on crime, LGBTQ advocates are not convinced he will be their protector. In the few weeks between the first round of presidential elections on Oct. 7 and his victory on Sunday, Bolsonaro has been at the hub of several controversies and, according to Brazilian news reports, served as inspiration for violence against LGBTQ people, social justice activists and journalists.
A transgender woman was knifed to death in the northeastern state of Sergipe a week before Sunday’s runoff election, and a drag queenwas murdered in the center of São Paulo on October 16. The attackers invoked Bolsonaro´s name during both assaults, according to local news reports.
“It’s as if the gates of hell have been opened — as if hunting season had been declared,” Beto de Jesus, an LGBTQ activist and founder of São Paulo’s massive annual gay pride parade, told The Guardian of what he sees as a new era of anti-LGBTQ brutality. “It’s barbarism.”


Bolsonaro has frequently cast aspersions on democratic institutionsand argued that if Brazil’s 1964-1985 dictatorship made any mistake, it was that it didn't go far enough in killing communists who threatened the nation. In a speech last week in São Paulo that critics called downright fascist, Bolsonaro doubled down on these sentiments to thousands of his supporters.
“Those red good-for-nothings will be banished from the homeland,” he said of his Workers’ Party rivals. “It will be a cleanup the likes of which has never been seen in Brazilian history.”
Nonetheless, Reis cautioned that campaigning rhetoric is one thing while government action is another.
“We’re going to have a formal dialogue [with the Bolsonaro government],” Reis said confidently. “We are in a democratic country, and we have serious institutions in our country.” Pointing to Brazil’s constitutional guarantee that everyone is equal before the law, Reis affirmed that the LGBTQ community would “use all available strategies to keep from taking any steps backwards.”
Brazil’s LGBTQ community has made a number of gains over the past two decades: same-sex marriage has been legal since 2011, transgender people can use their chosen names on government IDs, the public health system offers specialized care for trans people, and gay couples have the same rights to a partner’s pension upon death as heterosexual couples.
Although two Supreme Court justices will complete their terms during Bolsonaro’s mandate, Reis said that the court would still likely be favorable to LGBTQ issues. However, Bolsonaro has proposed adding 10 more justices to the 11-member court.


While Bolsonaro’s election has unsettled many LGBTQ people in Brazil, the Datafolha survey results on LGBTQ acceptance and two newly elected progressive “collective candidacies” have provided a counterbalance of hope for the community.
Juntas, or Together, won a seat in the legislature of the northeastern state of Pernambuco on October 7. The five-member slate includes a transgender woman and offers a progressive agenda. The other collective, a nine-person slate dubbed the “Activist Caucus,” which includes both a transgender and bisexual member, won a seat in the São Paulo legislature. Both collectives belong to progressive Socialism and Liberty party and are in favor of LGBTQ equality.
“We don’t believe that half of Brazil’s population is fascist,” Carol Vergolino, a member of the Juntas collective, told NBC News. “A lot of people don’t have the right information,” Vergolino said the dissemination of misleading information and fear-mongering through social networks like WhatsApp and Facebook by groups associated with the Bolsonaro campaign played a significant role in the far-right lawmaker’s election.
One of the key polarizing issues concerned educational materials about gender identity that were proposed for classrooms. Opponents of the materials claimed they would promote homosexuality and promiscuity in the classroom, and Bolsonaro described the materials as a “gay kit.”
Echoing Vergolino, Erika Hilton, the transgender member of the so-called Activist Caucus, said many Bolsonaro voters were “manipulated” by misleading information and do not agree with some of his extreme rhetoric about gay people.
“They follow the wave that looks like salvation, but really it’s the brink of collapse,” she said, claiming Bolsonaro's plans will likely worsen crime, violence and inequality.
Vergolino said to prevent a rollback in rights for Brazil’s most marginalized citizens, progressives must “resist without hate” but “with love.”

October 8, 2018

Many in The Gay Community Are Concerned About Brazil's Front Runner, He is Close to The Religious Right Which Want Gay Marriage Repealed

Zoe Sullivan 
NBC News

Far-right Brazilian Congressman Jair Bolsonaro has implied women who are raped “deserve it,” has said he’d be “incapable of loving a homosexual son” and has praised Brazil’s 21-year dictatorship. Now, the so-called Trump of the Tropics is leading the presidential polls in the world’s fifth-largest country.
On Sunday, Brazilians will vote for the president, all 513 members of the lower house of Congress, and two-thirds of the 81-member Senate. Support for Bolsonaro has surged in the past several days, giving the former military officer a comfortable lead over the other candidates in the race — though likely not enough to prevent a runoff election on Oct. 28 between the top two presidential contenders.
“Obviously, we’re afraid,” Toni Reis, president of Brazil’s National LGBT+ Alliance, said of Bolsonaro becoming Brazil’s next president.


Support for Bolsonaro, 63, reflects the deep frustrations Brazilians have with a stagnant economy, rampant corruption and an increase in violence. Unemployment stands at more than 12 percent, with roughly 13 million Brazilians out of work. Homicides have hit record levels, with 63,880 people killed last year alone — a 3.7 percent increase from 2016.

Image: Jair Bolsonaro
Jair Bolsonaro, presidential candidate for the Social Liberal Party (PSL), waves to supporters during a campaign rally in Taguatinga, Brazil, on Sept. 5, 2018.Andre Coelho / Bloomberg via Getty Images

Political division has deepened and hardened in Brazil since former President Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment in 2016, which many on the left viewed as an expedient way for a Congress rife with corruption to remove the Workers’ Party (PT) after 13 years in power.
Brazil’s business class has even warmed to Bolsonaro, a right-wing firebrand who has spent the past 27 years in Congress, with the nation’s currency and equity markets rising along with his poll numbers. Many economists blame the Workers’ Party policies of public subsidies for the country’s economic troubles.
Bolsonaro has also made common cause with evangelical Christians, who support eliminating legal abortion and gay rights. Brazil is the largest Catholic country in the world, but evangelicals now account for nearly one-third of its population, up from 3 percent in 1970. The evangelical caucus controls a fifth of Brazil’s lower house of Congress, and the upcoming elections are likely to sweep an even larger number of evangelicals into all levels of public office.


Bolsonaro’s fiery rhetoric places the blame for Brazil’s ills on gays, ethnic minorities and leftists. He has been particularly brazen, however, in his harsh views toward LGBTQ people over the years.
Back in 2002, he threatened gay people with violence after then-President Fernando Henrique Cardoso was seen in a photo holding a rainbow flag at an event in support of same-sex marriage.
“I won’t fight against it nor discriminate, but if I see two men kissing each other on the street, I’ll beat them up,” he said.
Nearly a decade later in June 2011, he doubled down on his homophobic views, telling Playboy magazine he “would be incapable of loving a homosexual son,” adding, “I would prefer my son to die in an accident” than bring a man home.
Then in 2016, during an interview with actress Ellen Page for Vice’s “Gaycation” series, Bolsonaro claimed homosexuality is a behavioral issue.
“When I was young, speaking in percentages, there were few [LGBTQ people],” he told Page. “With the passage of time, with libertinism, the increase in drugs, women working, too, there was a significant increase in homosexuality.” Roberto Efrem, a law professor at Brazil’s Federal University of Paraiba, said if Bolsonaro is elected, there would be “a lot of consequences for LGBT people” — especially if his election is combined with an increase in social conservatives in Congress.
He noted that the LGBTQ community has obtained rights in Brazil — where same-sex marriage has been legal since 2013 — primarily through the judicial system, not through legislation. A greater number of conservative Christians in office, he added, “would enable a new legislative configuration to propose laws against existing rights.”
Additionally, Bolsonaro has proposed adding 10 judges to the current 11 on the Supreme Court, which would give him substantial influence over the institution.

Image: FILE PHOTO: A combination of file photos shows presidential candidates Jair Bolsonaro and Fernando Haddad
Jair Bolsonaro, left, leads a crowded field of 13 candidates heading into the first round of presidential elections
 on Oct. 7, with nearly 40 percent of likely voters. If there is a second round on Oct. 28, Bolsonaro's opponent is likely to be Fernando Haddad, right, who is a member of the leftist Workers Party.Paulo Whitaker/Nacho Doce/File Photo / Reuters

Rivania Rodrigues, a Brazilian advocate who helped convince her state’s police to track anti-LGBTQ homicides, said if Bolsonaro and the evangelical caucus come to power, all the gains the LGBTQ community has secured over the past two decades will be threatened. Aside from gay marriage, Rodrigues said these gains include the creation of LGBTQ crisis centers, public health care for trans people and the inclusion of LGBTQ people in the military and in public sector jobs.
“I think Bolsonaro is worse than a [religious] fundamentalist,” Rodrigues said.
Reis of Brazil’s National LGBT+ Alliance said some in Brazil’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community have openly discussed seeking political asylum abroad in the event Bolsonaro is victorious. However, Reis noted, this is not an option for everyone.
“We need to alert people … to this fascism that is installing itself in our country and that won’t allow us to live,” Rodrigues pleaded. “We poor people, we don’t have the money to leave Brazil and live in another country.”
“We’re going to burn at the stake like people did at another time in history,” Rodrigues warned.
If Bolsonaro, who now leads the polls with 39 percent of the vote, wins in either the first round of elections on Oct. 7 or in a runoff on Oct. 28, he would officially take office on Jan. 1.

August 20, 2018

In Brazil, Coca-Cola Turned An Anti Gay Expression Into A Symbol of Pride

Just like in English, Spanish-speaking countries have different homophobic expressions for gay men. In Argentina, we’re “sword swallowers.” Spain calls us “pillow biters.” And in Brazil, the Portuguese expression is “Essa Coca é Fanta,” which literally translates to “That Coke is a Fanta.” But earlier this year Coca-Cola took that homophobic expression and turned it into a super cool, empowering campaign by filling cans of Coke with orange Fanta.
Being told “That Coke is a Fanta” might sound like a harmless idiom, until you realize the expression pops up everywhere in Brazilian culture: in memesYouTube videos and social media. It’s used repeatedly to mock anyone deemed too expressive, flamboyant or not macho enough. Over time, it can wear you down.
Aware of the expression, Coca-Cola decided to produce cans of Coke with orange Fanta inside.
These special cans came in the customary Coca-Cola red, but printed in Brazilian Portuguese on the side they read “Essa Coca-Cola é Fanta — e dai?” (“This Coca-Cola is a Fanta — so what?”)
That Coke is a Fanta 02
They released the can during Pride season in Brazil, and it was an immediate hit. LGBTQ Coca-Cola fans started discussing the drink in social media videos, making shirts with the slogan on it and even a very popular drag queen singer named Pabllo Vittar (she’s basically the Brazilian Britney Spears) made a video showing his delight.
Hundreds of millions of people saw and shared the campaign online, and Google searches for “That Coke is a Fanta” gradually changed from being grouped with other homophobic slurs to being grouped with “So what?,” “Pride” and other more empowering queries.
In short, Coca-Cola took a homophobic expression and turned it into a symbol of Pride.

Here is an ad showing the “That Coke is a Fanta” campaign: 

Coca-Cola is the most popular soft drink in Brazil by far. And considering the largely queer-friendly country has an ongoing problem of violence against LGBTQ people, it’s great that Coca-Cola got people to reconsider their attitudes about queer people and show it’s pretty cool when that Coke is a Fanta.

January 2, 2018

“The idea of masculinity in Brazil is connected to soccer.” Now They Have a Gay League

 Douglas Braga left his home in rural southeastern Brazil when he was 12, moving to Rio de Janeiro to pursue the Brazilian dream and become a professional soccer player.
Training up to eight hours a day, he had to drop out of high school. He turned professional when he was 16, and at 18 was signed as a goalie by Botafogo, one of the main Rio teams in Brazil’s premier league.
Three years later, in between contracts, Braga spent some time away from the game. And he met someone — his first boyfriend.
“Playing soccer, I didn’t really know or accept that I was gay, even to myself,” he said.
When his agent contacted him to talk about new contract options, he decided that now that he was openly gay, he couldn’t return to professional soccer.
With the most World Cup titles in soccer history, Brazil is the self-labeled país do futbol, the country of soccer. And while the sport is by far Brazil’s most popular, it is traditionally associated here and throughout Latin America with a culture of machismo: a game of straight men, rife with homophobic slurs. Women are strongly discouraged from playing and often ridiculed when they do. For LGBT people, soccer has generally been considered out of the question. 
“It didn’t even cross my mind to play soccer professionally and be openly gay,” Braga said. “You really just can’t.”
Even rumors of homosexuality have caused trouble. In 2013, the pro player Emerson Sheik posted an Instagram photo of himself kissing a male friend, prompting protests in which men held signs that insulted gay people or read, “This is a place for men.” In 2007, Richarlyson, another pro player, filed a criminal complaint after his team’s director insinuated that he was gay in a television interview. The judge dismissed the case, saying that soccer is “virile, masculine and not homosexual.”
After coming out, Braga didn’t play soccer for 10 years.
Then he heard about LiGay, an LGBT soccer movement that has spread throughout Brazil since it started this year. He participated in the group’s first official tournament, the Champions LiGay, in November.
“I got on the field and was nearly in tears. It was like a time machine,” Braga said. “I was mixing two parts of my life I never, ever thought could mix.”

Members of the BeesCats, a Rio team, pose during the Champions LiGay tournament. (Pilar Olivares/Reuters)
Braga now plays for the BeesCats Soccer Boys, Rio’s first gay soccer team. The team was founded in May by André Machado, a Sao Paulo native who had played with a gay team in his hometown and had grown frustrated with the lack of playing options when he moved to Rio. He rented a pitch to test out the idea. At the first practice, 15 people came. By the fourth, there were 150. 
“There’s no law prohibiting it, but in Brazil, there’s a social barrier that de facto prohibits gays from playing,” Machado said. “Now many are rediscovering the sport after being bullied out of it as kids.”
Machado saw the opportunity to form a formal league. He reached out to gay communities in other cities and eventually got eight teams together for that first tournament in November. Since then, the LiGay has grown to 16 teams and counting from all corners of Brazil. The players are almost all gay men, along with several who are transgender.
“We’re disrupting Brazil’s crown jewel,” Machado said. “It’s one of the most machista, homophobic environments in this country, but we’re making our presence here known.”
The country has seen a wave of hate crimes against LGBT people in recent years.  
“In the context of soccer it’s even more aggravated,” said Luana Souza, a psychology professor at the University of Fortaleza who has studied homophobia in the game. “The idea of masculinity in Brazil is connected to soccer.” 
“If Brazil is 15 years behind the U.S. or Europe in terms of accepting homosexuality and LGBT rights, then Brazil’s soccer community is another 15 years behind that,” Machado said.
The BeesCats recently became the first gay team to join Rio’s amateur league. Organizers welcomed them, but when local media posted an article about their debut on Facebook, the reaction was not kind. “If it were a team from SP [Sao Paulo], I would kill them now,” wrote one Facebook user listed as being from Sao Paulo.
But Machado and the BeesCats hope their expanding movement will be a catalyst for change.
“Marta [Vieira da Silva] showed that women can play soccer, and thanks to her, there’s more acceptance of women playing. I want us to be like that for gays in soccer,” Machado said of Brazil’s star female player. “My hope is that in a few years, it’ll be considered really not okay to say homophobic slurs in soccer.”

BeesCats players during a championship match on Nov. 25. (Pilar Olivares/Reuters)
Hurling insults such as “pansy” or references to gay sex at opponents is widely accepted at professional games in Brazil. FIFA, soccer’s international governing body, has fined the Brazilian soccer federation, along with other Latin American organizations, over the issue several times in recent years. 
“It’s gives me a knot in the pit of my stomach when I hear that, en masse, at a stadium,” said Flávio Amaral, a BeesCats player.
There are several official LGBT fan clubs for professional teams, although they seldom go to the stadiums openly, fearing for their safety. High-stakes soccer games in Brazil are infamously violent — brawls are common and sometimes result in deaths. In January 2017, members of a fan club for a second-division team were violently assaulted after they brought out a rainbow flag in the stands. 
Nathalia Duarte, the founder of Galo Queer, a fan group for one of Brazil’s main clubs, said the group was bombarded with violent threats after it created its Facebook page. “We still don’t think it’s safe to go to stadiums as a queer fan club,” she said. “But prejudice is so ingrained in soccer, it wasn’t even discussed, so we feel we have to discuss it.”
Braga, the former professional player, says he can’t help but reflect on the opportunities he passed up.
“Seeing some of the guys from my time as a pro playing on TV, some of them in Europe even, it definitely makes me wonder about what would have happened if I could continue playing after coming out,” he said. “But now I’m so proud to be a part of this team and spreading this movement.”

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