How To Help The Victims Of The Floods In Rio de Janeiro

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For the past two days since I got back from vacation I have been trying to get involved in helping the victims of the mudslides and floods in Rio de Janeiro. I thought about setting up a Paypal account to collect money on the blog, but since a friend was already gathering donations via Paypal through a link on facebook I thought it would be best for now to let you guys aware of what he is doing so that you can contribute even if you are overseas.

A week after Rio was struck by the worst natural disaster in the history of the country, the death toll has climbed to over 680 people and over 21,000 people have been left homeless in the cities of Nova Friburgo, Teresópolis, Petrópolis, Bom Jardim, São José do Vale do Rio Preto, Sumidouro, and Areal.

A friend of my bf has organized an event on facebook to gather money via Paypal to buy mattresses to help the people who were left homeless. He spoke to a mattress manufacturer who agreed to sell and deliver mattresses for R$31,50 each (or approximately USD$18). If you are able to contribute by donating a mattress it would be of enormous help.

Click here to make a donation via Paypal. Please make sure to enter the amount of R$31,50 or multiples of that amount if you would like to donate more mattresses. Donations will be collected until Thursday, January 20.

I have also donated money to the the WSPA in order to help the animals in the area affected by the floods. If you are in Brazil and would like to know more about the organization or to make a donation, visit WSPA Brazil's website.

If you reside in Brazil and would like to help the organizations involved in rescue and relief efforts in Rio de Janeiro, here is more information on how to help.

Milan Fashion Week, The Golden Globes, And The Floods In Rio

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  • Head over to Sonny Photos for an amazing selection of pictures backstage at the men's fall/ winter 2011 shows in Milan.
  • Watch the Jil Sander fall/ winter 2011 show.
  • Because there isn't a better accessory than a dog.
  • Felipe Anibal in his undies backstage at the Dolce & Gabanna show.
  • Towleroad has a complete list of winners at the Golden Globes last night, as well as Chris Colfer's acceptance speech for his Best Supporting Actor in a TV series win. I only watched the beginning of the show because of the six-hour time difference between Brazil and LA but if you ask me my picks for best dressed women I will have to go with Anne Hathaway and Angelina Jolie. For all the red carpet looks, head over to The Cut.
  • More of the spring 2011 ad campaigns: Max Motta by Nathaniel Goldberg for DKNY Jeans, Raquel Zimmermann by Steven Meisel for Louis Vuitton, Alexandre Cunha by Mario Testino for D&G, and Isabeli Fontana, Izabel Goulart, and Alessandra Ambrósio by Steven Klein for Dolce & Gabbana.
  • The death toll as a result of the floods and mudslides in the state of Rio de Janeiro has climbed to 635 people this morning, making it the deadliest natural disaster in the history of Brazil. The military finally sent over 700 soldiers to help with rescue efforts over the weekend. I have just gotten back from vacation today, and I am catching up on all the news, so expect more updates throughout the week. If you are in Brazil and would like to help, here is a link with all the information on the bank accounts destined to relief efforts, and drop off locations for donations. I am thinking of setting up a paypal account to gather funds from people who are overseas and would like to help. If you guys would be up for it, please leave a comment or email me. I figured that if everyone who visited the blog were to donate at least five dollars, we could raise a good amount of money here.

New Footage Of Gay Bashings In São Paulo

More reports of gay bashings in São Paulo and Rio have surfaced since the two attacks of November 14.

This past Sunday in Rio, Daniel Sena, writer and director of the online gay series Apenas Heróis, was harassed and attacked by three men close to his home. He was taken to a deserted location, and forced to eat dirt and drink a glass of gasoline. The three men also threatened to rape him with a bar of steel so he could feel "how good it is to be gay". The attack lasted for about ten minutes, when Daniel was rescued by a truck driver who was passing by.

In São Paulo, a new video was released by the police yesterday showing additional footage of attack against a young man close to the Brigadeiro subway station at Avenida Paulista.

After video footage of the gay bashing of November 14 surfaced last week, four of the teenagers responsible for the attack have been sent to a juvenile detention center. They are being charged for homicide and theft. The fifth member of the group responsible for the attacks was not a minor, and there are no reports as to whether or not he has been arrested.

A Protest Against Homophobia In São Paulo

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While bullying is still very much on the news in the United States, the topic in Brazil at the moment are the homophobic attacks of the past week. Over a week ago in São Paulo, on November 14, a 23-year-old gay man was hit in the head with two fluorescent lamps by a group of five upper middle class teenagers at 6:30 in the morning at Avenida Paulista, one of the busiest avenues in the city. The group of guys responsible for the aggression were sent to a juvenile detention center but later set free. One of the teenagers justified the attack by claiming that he was being cruised on the street by the 23-year-old. A video of the attack was released on national television on Thursday, proving that the attack was deliberate and unfounded. One of the teenagers' defense lawyers dropped the case after watching it.

Also over a week ago, after the 15th Annual Gay Pride Parade in Rio de Janeiro, a 19-year-old student was shot in the stomach by a military officer the Arpoador area. The military denied any involvement in the case at the time, but on Thursday of last week it was confirmed by the Military Justice that two officers were responsible for the shooting. The military issued a statement affirming that the crime will not be left unpunished, but there are no reports as to what measures are being taken by the military so that attacks like that will not happen again in the future.

To protest against the two homophobic attacks commited this week, over 200 people gathered yesterday at Avenida Paulista in São Paulo. My bf had had surgery on Friday, so we ended up not being able to attend the protest. I would love to hear from those of you who were there.

Unfortunately, the two attacks of last week are not the only cases of homophobia reported in the news recently. This past Saturday in Brasília three guys harassed a 20-year-old student by calling him names and  kicking his car until his friend called the police.

If you speak Portuguese and would like to learn more about the homophobic attacks of last week, I  recommend heading over to Tony Goés' blog and reading what he has to say.

Is Bullying Becoming A Problem In Brazil As Well?

I couldn't help but get back from my recent trip to New York wondering about how bullying is affecting gay teenagers here in Brazil. While I am still looking for statistics and reliable source of information, I feel it is my duty to post about the attack on a gay couple of students of the University of São Paulo (or USP) at a party this past weekend.

1027101 On the night of October 22, 21-year-old Biology student Henrique Peres Andrade and his boyfriend were  holding each other at a university party in the Morumbi neighborhood in São Paulo when three guys approached them, harrassed them, threw a drink at one of them, and physically attacked them until security came. According to an official statement by Henrique published here (in Portuguese), the security guards watched the three guys kick and punch them, and only tried to stop them after a large crowd gathered around them. The couple had to be escorted by security out of the party in fear that the three guys who attacked them would be waiting outside after they were asked to leave the premises.

The center for Biology at the University of São Paulo has issued an official statement in favor of the couple and the project of law which criminalizes homophobia that still has not passed. The three attackers have not yet been identified.

If you speak Portuguese, please read the entire article about the case at G1 and A Capa.

Brazilian Day In Toronto

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After her sold out concert in New York on Saturday, singer Ivete Sangalo performed for a crowd of 60,000 people yesterday at Brazilian Day in Toronto. Watch two clips from the concert after the jump.

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