Brazil was the last stop of our world tour. We have changed our flight dates to be able to attend the Gay Pride of Sao Paulo, the biggest Pride of the world which gathers more than 3 million people. 3 million people, this figure was impressive for us, symbol of an event that was going to be grandiose but this figure also made us quite afraid. We did not know anyone in Brazil and we did not speak Portuguese, what will we do during this Pride?
We therefore asked our contact Saulo Amorim, the president of ABRAFH, the Brazilian association of Homotransafetivas families. Saulo first reassured us about the event that is festive and family and especially he introduced us to Andrea.
Andrea is a member of the NGO « Mothers for diversity» (Mães pela Diversidade) and she invited us to spend two days with this association.
Mothers for Diversity is an NGO present in 23 states of Brazil. They are mothers and fathers who have come together to fight violence against their LGBTQ children. Indeed recent research reveals that more than 445 LGBTQ Brazilians have died homophobia victims in 2017, an increase of more than 30% compared to 2016. (LGBT watchdog Group Grupo gay from Bahia). This NGO is also defined as a support network for LGBTQ youth. The association organizes many events where everyone can talk openly about their sexuality.
On the eve of Pride, the association organized its annual fraternisation event, a party with a very joyous atmosphere where parents, children meet, everyone discusses, dances, or tasted one of the many dishes brought to share at the event. Andrea introduced us to many parents. We were very touched to see the photos of these LGBT youth who have died because of homophobia hanging on the walls, to meet with this father who lost his son and who is now a recognized activist fighting against violence linked to homophobia. He told us: “I am now the father of thousands of young LGBTs and that is what gives me my energy”. We were touched by all those smiles, by those people who welcomed us with open arms. This event took place in one of the antennas of the Casa 1. This association, on the initiative of a journalist named Iran Giusti was financed entirely by crowdfunding. It aims to welcome LGBT youth expelled from their homes and also organizes courses, lectures and socio-cultural activities.
The next morning we have an appointment with Andrea for the Pride preparations. We were invited to parade with the Mothers for Diversity who have one of the 17 trucks of the parade. Everyone present wears the association t-shirt with the message “Vamos passar com o nosso Amor” (We are going through with our love”, thanks a lot Gabriela for helping us translate and for the explanation in your comment below).
We did not have a T-shirt, but we have rainbow crowns and cardboard glasses with rainbow eyelashes that we got on our way to the prides and Sara proudly wears the Mothers Association badge . Andrea continued the presentations and we were able to chat with two very charming gay couples. One of the two couples was thinking of adopting a child. We hurriedly told them it was a great experience. The other couple, Eliezer and Salomao were 2 activists. Salomao is returning from San Francisco where he has been studying LGBTQ course at Stanford and Elizer is about to leave for the same course in the next month. What a pleasure to meet people involved.
Around noon the group began to move towards the tanks, the Paulista Avenue, one of the big avenues of Sao Paulo was full of people. We have never seen so many rainbow flags! The music was very loud, many couples kissed and many people were wrapped in rainbow flags. The atmosphere was really at the party, we did not hide that this event was with a lot of alcohol (I am not talking about the Mothers association here) but the energy remains very positive
We spent some time behind the truck before the parade started. Sara even had the honor of getting on top of the truck to see the view.
We would like to thank the association Mothers for Diversity and especially Andréa and Fabio who looked after us and who allowed us to spend 2 wonderful days. We were not only foreign spectators attending the Pride of Sao Paulo but thanks to them we experienced the Pride of Sao Paulo from the inside.