Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Gay Pride parade in Rocinha

 Wow.  But why am I surprised? 

On Sunday, October 24th, we attended the first-ever Gay Pride Parade in the Rocinha favela in Rio.  What a hoot!  We arrived early, met up with our friend Zezinho, enjoyed a few beers/sodas, and then made our way to the PERFECT location to watch it all.

Zezinho (with a mural of Rocinha tatooed on his legs) with two friends.

Hats off to Zezinho for scoping out the PERFECT SPOT!

OK, so the official time mentioned for when the parade was to begin was 2:00 p.m. – but remember, we are in Brazil, after all.  Things really got going around 3:30 p.m.

No matter.  We had our spot.  It included benches.  It was across the street from a barzinho (with a toilet).  We could see everything coming and going.  We definitely felt the crescendo of enthusiasm and excitement throughout the day.

Very happy baby gay guy all dolled up for the event.

It was wonderful.  Queer folk, neighborhood folk, young folk, flamboyant folk – they were all there.  An ear-splitting trio electrico anchored the parade with pop and funk favorites, plus microphone-hogging drag queens.  The crowd bounced up and down endlessly.

So cool.  So fun.

A famous gay radio personality was swamped with folks wanting a picture.

Life is exceptionally hard for the residents of Rocinha, make no mistake about it.  Living conditions for many residents are shocking to most outsiders.  Any opportunity for upward mobility is less than scarce.  But the joy expressed during this parade; the pride in one’s community:  THIS IS THE REASON I love Brazilians so much.

There is a commitment to joyfulness, no matter the circumstance.  You gotta love that!

A switchback in the road really shows off the croud.

Shout out to Zezinho and his two friends, plus my bud Amanda for making the day so amazing.

It’s not over – the Rio Gay Pride Parade is set for Sunday, November 14th on Copacabana Beach.  Be there or be square!

Also – don’t forget our campaign to raise funds to support Tio Lino’s after-school program and art school.  We are buying art and school supplies for Tio Lino’s efforts directly supporting Rocinha’s kids.  Check it out.

My friend Amanda has written code for a dynamic button that provides links to both the origianl post about the fundraising campaign as well as a link to make a donation.  If you want to help us out, check out the button in the sidebar and post it on your blog.  Thanks!


Rachel said...

That's awesome! And what a big turnout!

Fiona said...

What great pics! Looks like an elating time!

Anita said...

I think these kinds of events are picking up in Brazil. Im Amsterdam the gay pride is already an institution, participants have rehearsels of coreography during months before the event, a lot of money is spent on clothes/boats, the mayor shows up and even more tourists come to the city. But wait and see - Brazilians are going to make Gay Pride more and more complex/glamourous than any other parade elsewhere in the world.