Carnival Of Shame Update

Newspaper "O Globo" published an article this Saturday about Hyldo Junior and Maurílio Cardoso, the gay couple who was attacked by 5 men last weekend at the gay beach in Ipanema during Carnival. According to the article and my sources, the couple is also accusing the local police from not acting on the case at the time the officers questioned the aggressors (FYI, the officers refused to arrest the aggressors despite several witnesses, or to even write down their names). Gay rights groups in the country are now involved in the case in an attempt to prevent episodes like this to happen again.

And to prove that protesting does have an effect on the situation, here are some pictures of police stations at the beach in Rio yesterday:


Out of ignorance, I'd supposed that Rio was all things fun, sun, and enlightenment.

As I said - I was ignorant. How naive of me to think that bashing and speedos don't co-exist.

I'm in Rio now and was on the beach at Farme on the weekend. I saw the police tent on the beach and thought that it was a nice attempt by the police to show that they were watching out for everyone at the beach...little did I know the real know not being able to understand Portuguese does have its advantages sometimes...well not very often

I too was in Rio during both the weekend of Carnival and the subsequent week leading up to the Saturday when the police booth appeared at Farme near Posta 9. None of my Brazilian friends even mentioned that there had been an attack, and until I received a free copy of El Globo on the flight back to the States on Saturday night, and (tried to) read the story referenced above, did I become aware of the fact that there had even been an attack.

Here's the thing about gay Rio, explained to me by two of my Carioca (Rio natives) friends:

While there is a decidedly large gay population in both Rio and Sao Paulo, that doesn't mean that the country as a whole has a permissive attitude about homosexuality or public displays of affection between gay men (lesbians are virtually invisible in Rio except at Farme beach). Gay visitors to Rio during Carnival get the wrong impression that the city is always as gay friendly year-round as it is during Carnival. It is not. Carnival is the one time of the year when being gay is sort of tolerated and celebrated almost by everyone ... gays have their own Gay Ball as part of Carnival, gays participate in various aspects of the Carnival celebration, and many gays are part of the samba schools that compete in the Sambadrome during the formal Carnival parades on Sunday and Monday nights of Carnival. But that doesn't translate into a year-round acceptance of gays and lesbians.

In fact, my one friend, a very shy 24-year old native of Rio, won't allow me to touch him in public ... no hand holding, no kissing, nothing remotely intimate, when we're out and about in Rio, even on Rua Farme, the gayest street in Rio (next to maybe the area right in front of Le Boy). In fact, the only place he's truly comfortable expressing himself with a kiss, or a touch, is at the beach on Farme securely surrounded by gay people.

Rio is an amazing, fun, and sensuous city. But it's not Chelsea, the Castro, West Hollywood, Hillcrest or Halsted by any stretch of the imagination when it comes to being openly gay in public.

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