Thursday, 17 May 2007

It's not Heaven in Rio for Gay Community

A recent article tittled "The boys from Ipanema - gay Brazilians between heaven and hell in Rio" opened my eyes and shattered my dreams about visiting Rio.

This year's carnival attracted around 700,000 tourists to Rio - among them many gay men and women. Along with San Francisco in the US state of California, the Brazilian city is one of the most popular tourist destinations for homosexuals - especially those from Germany.

According to the anti gay discrimination organisation 'Disque- DenĂșncia Homosexual' (DDH), a total of 45 gay men and lesbians were murdered on these streets in 2006 - more than ever before.

'No gay person here would ever dream of walking the streets holding hands or kissing', said Dan Litteauer. 'Something that would be considered normal in Europe is only possible here at carnival times,' he added.

For Robson, an anthropologist who runs city tours for gays, Rio remains a paradise for homosexuals despite its very macho society.

'There are just certain rules which you have to adhere to,' the 44-year-old Brazilian explained and added: 'Unlike in Europe or the United States we have absolutely no gay ghettos.'

The familiar rainbow flags which can been seen fluttering over numerous establishments around the world are nowhere to be seen in Rio.

After reading this article my dreams of a trip to Rio and being openly gay and proud were shattered.

I can hold my boys hand in Sydney depending on location and to think this was not possible in Rio really surprised me.

[Full Story and Source]

If you have visited or reside in Rio I welcome your comments on this story.

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