Monday, August 22, 2011

Niterói Gay Pride and Rio without Homophobia




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.

11 comments:

Anita said...

I find Niterói still conservative. I have no idea where the gays and lesbians were - I have never seen/met any gay person when I lived there. And about the noise coming from the streets - I used to hear a lot the motorcylces and screams as if they were inside of my apartment (located on the 8th floor of a building in Tavares de Macedo). And the garbage collectors at 3a.m. ...

Jim said...

Anita - I said to Luiz while we were at the festival... "Where are these people every day? Is my "Gay-dar broken?" Why cannot I see these people during normal weeks/days?

I agree that folks are conservative here -- but it is worth noting that 80%+ of the festival is YOUNG PEOPLE.

Hopefully things are changing...

The Reader said...

I LOVE the sign. Not the part about "hey, we still have homophobia, be careful out there..." but the part about "dance at your welcome/leisure, kiss lots on the mouth, and don't forget, use a condom!!" LOL!

Love it.

I do hope that the number of young people means things are changing.

(and, if you're missing seeing gay people in every day life, come on over for a visit. there are loads here...)

Jim said...

EXACTLY - Reader! Such a nice encouragement!. And I trust the youth!

GingerV said...

kept thinking as I read.... why don't we have 'straight' pride parades....
I wonder how many of these young people are just friends of gays, that come out to party and support....
One of my grandsons has declared himself - and is put a giant rif in the family - his father and other GRANDMOTHER not accepting.... it breaks my heart.
probably him and all his 'cutie' friends were out there on the street keeping you awake, better you than me. Lol.

GingerV said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jim said...

Ginger ... every day is a straight pride parade, trust me.

I'm SURE lots of the people at the parade were straight and loving being with out and proud gay folk. LGBTs know how to throw a party!

Sorry to hear your grandson does not have 100% support. You can provide key examples for acceptance. Good luck. This is not easy, unfortunately.

maria said...

Hi Jim, Maria from Leme here!
I can confirm what you said... The lads at the gay beach in posto 9 (Ipanema) are certainly stunning looking (well lots of them anyway!) !
Hey! There is nothing wrong with watching! :)

The Reader said...

Jim - is it misguided of me to wish for the day when we won't NEED to have a Gay Pride day? When it will be so accepted that we won't NEED to use an event like this to promote an end to homophobia??? When it won't take publicity to get human beings to treat one another with common respect??

Where, dare I hope, every day could be gay pride parade in the same way as you say (rightly so) that every day is straight pride parade....?

maybe in time for my boys' adulthoods......

Jim said...

Reader - you and me together wish for that day. Until then we must talk with our family and friends (who vote)- speak up in social situations, teach our children directly and be an example of true equality.

[And maybe take a stand on our blogs.]

--Feeling your support --

Born Again Brazilian said...

Yes, it may because of the World Cup/Olympics, but ride whatever wave you come across. People get things done by taking advantage of situations - so let's celebrate!