The Niterói Gay Pride Parade was last night. Half of me loved the street party that started at about 5:00 p.m. and continued until about midnight. The other half of me was over the noise and revelry after we were home and trying to sleep at 11:00 p.m.
The huge street party, closing traffic on the avenue along Praia de Icaraí, had traffic rerouted to the street just below our bedroom window. Drivers were not happy and let us know with their horns (Brazilian drivers love to use their horns).
I love a good party. And we went to participate in this party. But us older guys go home sooner than the young folks that dominate these sorts of events. (Very cute folks, I might add.) I laid in bed for a very long time listening to drunken revelers making their way home under my bedroom window. But goddess bless them – I was there once. It was not a big deal.
Sign me up as pro-Gay Pride Parade in Niterói!
More importantly, the theme was once again “Anti-Homophobia.”
There is a very well-funded campaign by the Rio state government to combat homophobia. Lots of media and collateral print materials.
The campaign is called “Rio without Homophobia.” Nice to see. But as Luiz (in his professional tourism capacity points out) would remind us this is an economic strategy in the build up to the World Cup and the Olympics. It is a tourist publicity campaign.
But that’s OK by me. If you can get hotels to display “Rio sem Homofobia” stickers in their front windows (and on their websites) to try and attract more clients (and actually be less offensive) then I’m all in favor of a legislative or economic campaign that encourages merchants to be less offensive. Call me practical.
I know you cannot legislate tolerance – but if you can educate folks to be less offensive in an effort to see their business grow – well, I’m all for that.
The Rio Sem Homophbia campaign is robust. It was all over the Niterói Gay Pride Parade yesterday. Let’s hope it catches even more traction.
Check out the Rio Sem Homofobia campaign here.