5 Million At São Paulo Gay Pride Parade?

The Military Police will not release official data about the parade at Avenida Paulista, but organizers claim that the number of people attending the São Paulo Gay Pride Parade yesterday could be close to 5 million, which would largely surpass last year's reported 3.5 million. Folha Online reported this morning that 3 million people would be a more accurate number, especially considering 5 million would represent about 25% of the population of São Paulo.

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After experiencing the parade last year, I promised myself that I would not go again this year. As much as I do believe in fighting for my rights, my feeling is that the parade in São Paulo has become nothing but a dangerous street Carnival. Last year instead of feeling a sense of belonging, I was saddened to see people falling all over the place due to drug and alcohol abuse, and people being robbed and attacked. Unfortunately this year was not much different.

On Friday afternoon, a 25-year-old man was found dead at Mercure Hotel in the Jardins area. The victim was a guest of two hotel guests, and was found dead at a 1-meter deep pool, next to where one of the hotel guests passed out sleeping. No official statements about the death have been released by the police yet.

Even though the Military Police claimed that 1,600 officers on duty yesterday at Avenida Paulista were enough to guarantee security, news reports confirmed that the Gay Pride parade this year was actually more violent than last year's. Several people complained of being robbed right next to police officers, and the area reserved to press was almost invaded early in the afternoon. Official data confirmed that the number of thefts was up 78% from last year. Not a good sign.

The extra hospital beds and emergency units were not enough to take care of people suffering from alcohol and drug abuse. At around 3 pm, a 56-year-old man had his leg crushed by one of the floats and was taken immediately to the hospital. He had to have his leg amputated, and is under intensive care.

That is not how I think we can make a difference. I can now fully understand why all the big clubs pulled their floats out of the parade this year.

More about the parade at:
Brazil's gays stage huge parade against bias (Reuters)
Millions celebrate gay pride in Brazil parade (IHT)
ParouTudo Picture Gallery And Videos
UOL Picture Gallery
G1 Picture Gallery

Comments

Totally agree. There was just too many people crowded. The street where I live wich is near the parade had turned into a big pissing area and the odor was infernal. It was just sickening...

Bravo.... that has needed to be said for sometime now... It really is a sad commentary that people wanting to come together for such a good cause end up being apart of something so full of disdain...but whats more amazing is many "must" condone such behaviour because they repeat the event every year, knowing what has happened in prior years... a small price to pay for the ability for one to rejoice ones identity annually? hopefully not...

So you're saying that in big clubs the rich spoiled brats don't do drugs and get drunk? Riiiight. Nex thing you know Santa Claus is releasing his new lingerie line and the Easter Bunny is naked on a spread in G magazine.

What I am saying is big clubs probably do not want to get sued if their float accidentally runs over someone at the parade since the city cannot guarantee overall safety for people who are attending.

While people are inside the clubs, promoters and owners have certain degree of control of the situation. As much as I am aware that most of the people at the parties are doing drugs, at the very least inside the gay clubs physical violence is not something I have to worry about.

I agree, inside the clubs there IS some degree of control. But what happens once you take a step out of The Week? The place where it is located is very dangerous, and getting to and from the club can be a death sentence. Pride is far from the perfect event, but it's "popular" appeal IS important. People won't see many gays when they are hiding in some small hole in the middle of nowhere. I think seeing so many of them out in the open IS important. Coexistence can eventually lead to tolerance. Farfetched? Maybe. But better than scurriying around in a guetto.

I agree with that. I just wish that the one day in which people got together to celebrate did not result in such a mess, so that the media and the people attending could focus on the gay cause as opposed to the partying and violence.

Sao Paulo's parade felt like a big carnival to me. I like the one in New York much better. In NYC you see all the different groups marching--everyone from PFLAG to gay police officers....hell, they even have a gay- Brazilians- of- NYC group marching. I couldn't imagine that happening in Sao Paulo. The parade in SP doesn't seem to be diverse, political, or instructive at all.

I can´t agree more.

My political act in São Paulo during the Pride Week is not going to the Parade that has turned into an unsafe Bahia´s Micareta version. I just check in at a hotel with my companion, ask for a room with only one double bed, flaunt our rings around, and date in public places. Obviously, we go to the parties where all of our friends meet us. No marches, no posters, no acting out. Our public demonstrations are not collective. In the days of the Pride Week we live in a way I think society should accept us - like a regular straight couple.

And no, I am not a snob. I went to one of the first SP Pride parades, whit less than 50.000 people, some time ago. People on the streets did not mingle with us. We were more like the Circus and the Bandwagon arriving in town. This was bold indeed.

And Dave, no, The Week´s region is very safe BTW.

It is not an exaggeration to say that nowadays club-owners and drug dealers equally benefit from the drug trade to the detriment of young people's lives being totally messed up. Music so loud converation is not even possible and alchol & drug abuse leading to graual self-destruction, depression and unsafe sex. Instead of fighting against homophobia and for gay weddings homosexual people should fight the real problem facing the gay community i.e. the drug mafia (club onwers and gay associations staging parties for theirs own founding) which "entertain" them while they gradually commit suicide. So much hipocrisy in the gay world. Drugs are killing a lot more than hiv & homophobia but it's a big taboo.

Anyone who goes to a Gay Pride PROTEST "Parade" and does drugs is missing the point. If that is what this event has degenerated into - time to put an end to it.

I doubt all MILLIONS there were gay or even supportive - they just like the spectacle of the gays willing to play the fool for them.

Put on your clothes - and make these PROTESTS political again - or just stop them.

Loura - the drug use is a direct response to the homophobia.

The gay community does not have enough community centers with drug education programs or therapy service - that said I live in Boston and we have great facilities that do help - but drug use is rampant in all communities during these trying years at the start of the decade. I do not believe the clubs promote drug use. They are open to sell drinks and play music - what else people do is done on their own - how is it the clubs fault ?

I have been to Sao Paolo many times. I am from New York and currently live in New York, however, I like Sao Paolo much enough that I now plan to move to Sao Paolo. Reading these reviews I believe is accurate and sad. Society has always made homosexuality a bad thing. I believe the gay pride parade is a venue for homosexuals to prove to everyone that we can get together for a good cause and act in a civilized manner.

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