About São Paulo Gay Pride 2007

The Pride parade yesterday in the city broke all previous records, with an estimated 3.5 million people on the streets. The party began around 1 pm at Avenida Paulista, and lasted until about 9 pm at Consolação.

Not only did the parade register the largest number of people, but it also registered the largest number of theft and crimes ever in the history of the parade. The police was not set up to contain the large crowd. Compared to the parade I saw five years ago, I was thrilled to see that it has become such an important event for the city, but disappointed that it has become a street Carnival with people falling all over the place because of drugs and alcohol abuse. People do get tweaked out in New York during Pride, but nothing like I saw yesterday. In all honesty, I would have been ashamed to have taken my family to see it. Perhaps that is the reason why this year also marked the smallest percentage of families attending the event. These are just some thoughts I think need to be considered for next year, and from what I have read so far this morning many people share the same feeling.

My one piece of advice when it comes to what Gay Pride has become in São Paulo: come to the city for all the parties (anything organized by The Week is superb).

Before I upload some of my pictures (thanks to the camera I had to keep inside my underwear with the strap attached to my belt loops), check out images at Terra, Italo, Folha Online, and Mix Brasil.


Next year do not go to Sao Paulo, stay in New York then. How can you compare NY Parade with 3 times bigger SP Parade, you're just upset coz your Blackberry was stolen. You used to be more down to Earth.

You gota know how to love and how to deal with the craziness of SP. It is ALWAYS excessive in every single way. It can hit you really hard if you dont know how to respond in style. Next time, open your eyes, southern boy ;)
And in no way this means I am not sympathetic to the fact that you got robbed there. But you know the deal with Brazil... Or at least should know, by now. Sorry about your blackberry, it really sux :(

I agree, if you don't want the insane hectic (but unforgettable) pride of São Paulo, then just avoid it. Also I know everyone is entitled to an opinion but I find parties organized by The Week are just the same old boring barbie narcisistic festivals.

I have to disagree with you guys. Many people exceed the limits during the Pride days, not only in the streets but also in the nightclubs. Sometimes it is not a nice view, but I don't think it is nice to tell people to go away because we don't like the way they behave. There is plenty of room for everyone to enjoy the parties, from the lowest profile guy up to the fastest lane bitch. Maybe this is what makes São Paulo such a wonderful place.

Nothing published here has anything to do with my Blackberry being stolen. I was robbed earlier this year in Rio at Carnival as well (of something which had real meaning to me and which I cannot replace), and still I would recommend everyone on the planet to go and experience Carnival in Rio. It is about the fact that a day of celebration turned into madness here yesterday, which is something I did not expect. I still think the parties and events were extremely well organized, but I think there needs to be more control. It was just brought to my attention that someone was murdered last night in front of Ritz, a few minutes after I left with my friends. This type of thing cannot happen.

I thought your main objective with this blog was to promote the Brazilian gay scene, and yet all I read is about murders, thefts and attacks. I suppose you should leave this kind of news to the regular newspapers - they've got plenty of room for it - and focus on the fact that almost 4 million people met on the streets of one of the biggest cities on the planet to celebrate gay pride. Everybody knows that when almost 4 million people get to the streets some things are bound to happen - I daresay it went quite peacefully, considering the circumstances.

I really appreciate your effords to worsen the image of Brazil abroad, well done then.

WHO ARE YOU PEOPLE JUDGING AND LOOKING HARSHLY UPON? HE IS ONLY STATING THE TRUTH AND NOTHING BUT. If you believe he's making the image of Brazil worse, he's not. It's better to let people know the reality, then say it's all gorgeous and gay, so then when they get there, they will get robbed and be shocked. Understand that 3.5 million people is a lot of people, and it will be very very hard to keep control over that anyways. Like he says, they just have to have more police next year. Murders happen anywhere... how about the insane guy who shot in the West Village a few months ago, or the V Tech kid? People need to stop living in Utopia, and look at things from both sides...it's a beautiful thing that they have in Brazil, all these people for this one event, but there's the other side to every story. The writter of this blog, just have the balls to say so. I am Brazilian and I stick with him 100% !!!!!!!!!!!

Alisson, you are right. The question though, is not of trying to hide things, but just a matter of focus (or lack thereof). There are specific publications that concentrate on specific issues - if I want to read about murder, or security issues in Brazil, or political scandals in Brasilia, I know where to turn.
We had a fantastic report of Rio Fashion Week just a few days ago - and it did not have to include any crimes that certainly happened in Rio and that could or could not be related to the fashion event - it FOCUSED on the event itself.
This is what I wanted to say about Sao Paulo parade; I believe the blog lost its focus, its editorial line - and did not deliver the info the usual readers came looking for. It's not that crimes should be concealed - it's just that this is not the proper vehicle to write about them.

É deprimente como uma pessoa só enxerga o lado ruim das coisas. Você acha que só coisas ruins aconteceram? E a quantidade de dinheiro que o evento trouxe para a cidade? Além disso a festa foi ótima; Porque uma pessoa que tem a oportunidade de falar com pessoas de fora como você, aos invés de destacar o que de bom acontece por aqui, denigre ainda mais a imagem do país??? Junte 3.5 milhões de pessoas em Nova Yorke ou Amsterdam e veja se algo do tipo não acontece.

There were a lot of people who also said Brazil shouldn't allow talk about an "unsafe" air traffic control system because it would scare people away from flying and hurt the country's image. Then in Sept 2006 there was a mid-air collision. And people here STILL try to supress a full investigation into the cause, as a matter of national pride. This is why things don't change in Brazil, because of this attitude. I really admire J for telling the full truth. How could J morally ignore the fact that a man lost his life, very brutally, a few steps away from where he'd just been standing on Sunday night, and instead just write about the lovely glistening bodies and the great hotel bargains and the marvelous models and parties...? Sorry guys, you all have to wake up to reality sometimes. The picture here in Sao Paulo is very very complex; it's not just the fairy tale we want it to be.

My point here is one: I could have focused exclusively on all the parties like Gira-Sol which were fun and very well organized, or I could have used the little voice I have here to try to change things for the better. I am the #1 advocate for the country but I also want to make sure that everyone who comes to the parade will be safer next year (and will not have to see many of the things that I saw). It may be silly but I do feel responsible in some part for the tourists who come here for Pride. I would hate to know that anything bad happened to one of them. My intention is not to scare people away, but to push the government to make sure the same madness does not happen in 2008.


I find it interesting that you rave about how wonderful the expensive, elite parties organized by The Week are, where all the people are "gente bonita" (i.e., rich and white), but you complain incessantly about the scene on the streets, where the majority of the attendees are lower class and dark-skinned. Are you so turned off by the nature of the parade on Paulista because you don't live to mingle with "o povo," or is it because you spend most of your time in Rio and thumb your nose at São Paulo?

Sure, I saw some things that I found distasteful. The dozens of guys pissing all over Parque Trianon and the wall of the Consolação cemetery, the travestis walking around with their silicone breasts hanging out, the people stumbling down the street because they were drunk or tweaked or both. But that was a small minority of the people who were there - the vast majority of the people I saw were simply enjoying themselves, and quite responsibly at that.

And as for having to keep your camera inside your underwear attached to your belt strap, do you not think you may have been just a tad paranoid? I kept my camera in my front jeans pocket, pulled it out whenever I wanted to, and had no problems - just like when I went to São Paulo Pride last year and Rio Pride the year before.

I am sick of all the paranoia and negative stories about Brazil that people try to scare foreigners with. They smack of elitism, classism, and an implied racism, and they are perpetuated as much by the Brazilian upper class as by foreigners.

Bryan, you're really extrapolating what has been said here. Frankly, it's typical of this tremendously defensive attitude in Brazil about looking critically at the reality of life here, and demanding change for the better. No wonder nothing ever changes. The point isn't to lie to the world outside to entice them here. That's pretty shady. The point is for those of us who live here to fearlessly FACE the realities that we don't accept, look for solutions and demand responsibility. Then we will have a Sao Paulo and a Brazil that we can be proud and happy to live in all year, rather than a "show place" for gringoes to spend their money in once a year. For the author of this blog and all the commentators who are struggling with that here and elsewhere, I say this is a reflection of how much we *love* this country. It's not to be dismissed as racist or classist, because it's not.

From Estado de Sao Paulo, for Bryan and Michael:

O presidente da Parada GLBT, entidade que organiza a Parada Gay, Nelson Matias, acredita que o francês foi vítima do preconceito contra homossexuais. “Ele perdeu a vida por um motivo banal, porque não estava dentro dos padrões. É por isso que ocupamos as avenidas. A cada quatro dias um homossexual é morto no Brasil.”

A polícia ouviu, na segunda-feira, 11, três testemunhas. Segundo elas, o francês foi atacado por três ou quatro homens. Um deles teria se aproximado e sacou uma faca. Depois disso, eles viram os criminosos correndo e o comerciante com a camisa ensangüentada.

A região dos Jardins é um reduto de estabelecimentos comerciais voltados para o público homossexual. Recentemente, o local foi palco para outras cenas de violência contra gays.

Em 10 de fevereiro, o professor Alessandro Araújo foi agredido por três skinheads, na Rua da Consolação. Ele perdeu os dentes no ataque.

Em 22 de abril, um grupo formado por pelo menos dez skinheads levou pânico a clientes de um bar localizado na Alameda Santos, junto à Rua da Consolação. Os "carecas" espancaram quatro jovens que estavam em frente a um bar. Um deles foi esfaqueado.

I have been to Carnaval in Rio once (2003) and to Sao Paulo to visit on three occasions.

In regard to Gay Day and Pride Parades, I've been to three: Los Angeles, San Jose, California, and to San Francisco's.

The last time that I went to SF's Gay Pride Parade which is reported as being the largest that has been held in the US, I became unjarred and quite frightened when the hoards of people, the crowd's number became unbearable. If I'd fallen amongst all of these individuals who were assembled in limited space, I would perhaps had been crushed. As a result of this, I have stayed away of huge crowds.

The participants at Carnaval are basically confined, thus I had no fear of falling, etc.

To make this clear-- I appreciate the reporting by our blogger who reported with sense: I disliked reading some of the reactions to his reporting by those same people who view situations/ things myopically!

If he doesn't write about what goes on that makes it easier for everyone to ignore it and pretend like everything is wonderful. Anywhere in the world there are good and bad parts, but if people are cowards and don't want to talk about it because of their own pride and ego then they are part of the problem, and the reason why solutions aren't created or enforced. I lived in Brazil for many years and I'm glad someone is speaking out. Yes, no doubt it is a great country but like everywhere else it has it's problems. I think its dumb to try to cover up the not so good stuff and it is very shady, and to the comment, "I really appreciate your effords to worsen the image of Brazil abroad, well done then." It's not like he is making bad situations up to scare people, he's just being REAL & not sugar coating it. Brasil is corrupt enough as it is, and covering up problems makes the image worse & the problems won't go away they will just get bigger.

My name is Sean and I am from Atlanta, GA USA. I have never been to Brazil, but am planing on coming to Gay Pride 2008.

What did I learn from this blog.

1) With over 3 million people at an event, some kind of crime is going to happen. Just make sure I do not have anything of importance on me when out in the parade. I mean come on... there are over 3 million people in Atlanta and crime happens here everyday and there is NO parade going on.

2) With over 3 million people at an event, the police will have trouble with crowd control. If I tend to fall easily, I should not go because I might get trampled.

3) Because if the PRIDES size, I can get lost and there will be swarms of people. If I am looking for something a little lower key, I should not come to Sao Paulo PRIDE. ( but that is not a problem, because I want to come for the size )

4) With 3 million gay and lesbians out and about, there will be lots of foolish people on drugs. ( why am I not surprised? ) I just need to look past it.

I guess over all, I want to thank the bloger for telling me that Sao Paulo Pride is a great event, but I have to be aware of my personal safety. Sao Paulo Pride might be too much of a good thing... maybe it needs to be toned down a bit, but not so much where it ruins the fun.

Can anyone tell me when is Sao Paulo Pride 2008?

I have lived in Mexico for a year and in Peru almost a year. I have experienced exactly the same blind national pride that I read about here. People want to pretend that they live in Disneyland, that everything is perfect and nothing bad ever happens. When tourists buy this propagando, then visit Latin America and get robbed, ripped off, perhaps the victims of violence, do you think they will go home and tell their friends and colleagues: Oh what a wonderful vacation, the sun shines and the beaches are beautiful. Sure I lost all my money and had to get more money wired for my hospital costs, but who cares, the guys who beat me up were so beautiful and sexy. I am also tired of this hipocricy. Latin Americans like to manipulate the truth so it sounds good, but for the rest of us, that is really bad. Please continue to paint a true picture of reality, if I want a fairy-tale I'll go to Orlando.

I am trying to book my vacation to be in Rio fo Gay Pride,I know it is in July but does anyone know the dates?

Gay Pride São Paulo - May 25 2008
Wonderful! Cool!
See photos:

See great vídeos Gay Pride São Paulo 2007 -





The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS FeedPodcast

Video Channel