Brasilmagic\’s Weblog

Venting to the World

Being gay in Brazil vs. the USA

I have always been a defender of gay people. In the early 90’s I was a panelist in a debate show on TV in the city of Curitiba, Brazil, as a Sociologist. It was kind of a “The View” where many different topics were discussed, especially controversial ones. There was a moderator and 3 other professionals. One was a psychologist. There was also an audience that could make comments and questions. For many years I participated in this show until I moved away from Curitiba.

In one particular show where homosexuality was discussed, I recall saying that gay couples should have the same “rights” as heterosexual couples. I did not say “marriage” or even “legal union’ since back them gay marriage was not on the plate worldwide. Nevertheless, the first studies showing that gay people are born gay were being advertised, and I felt that discriminating and making gay people ”ashamed” of being gay just led to immense suffering and unfair treatment.

Which brings me to an interesting difference between gay men in America and gay men in Brazil: in Brazil, gay men are more out. They like to dress different from other men, and mix some feminine styles with a masculine wardrobe. Simply put, there is no doubt they are gay. They also act and talk more effeminate, oblivious to stares or sneering behind their backs. In America, gay men seem to hide their feminine side more. A few dare to wear earrings or a colorful scarf. The majority just dresses like any other guy. I have seen women hit on gay men without realizing they were not interested-because they were gay.

Does that mean that the Brazilian society is more tolerant to gay men? I don’t think so. Brazilians are more “out” in everything, including sexuality. Women dress sexier and show their bodies more. It is normal for straight men to wear small swim trunks (so called Speedos in America) and walk around without a shirt even in the streets. The entire nation of Brazil is more out, in every aspect. Therefore, gay men (and women) seem to be more out about their sexuality as well.

However, Brazil is far from accepting gay marriage. The Catholic Church makes sure of that (and now the growth of Evangelical churches makes it even worse). Abortion is not legal in Brazil, which is absurd. While in America discriminating against gay people at work or in life is protected by law, in Brazil people still make fun of gay people without any consequences. Gay couples walking hand in hand are cause shock (for that matter, most parts of America are also like that). But as with many other social advances, the gay cause is becoming stronger in America (I foresee gay marriage accepted in more and more states), which will spill over to Brazil eventually. Hopefully Brazil will also become a more secular society, with less influence of the old fashioned Catholic Church.

Here’s a good article about how gay people are born gay, for those who think they have a choice: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/jquirk/detail?entry_id=48335

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February 15, 2011 - Posted by | Difference between cultures, Lifestyle, Society

23 Comments »

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Brasilmagic, Brasilmagic. Brasilmagic said: Being gay in Brazil vs. the USA http://wp.me/p65D5-qa […]

    Pingback by Tweets that mention Being gay in Brazil vs. the USA « Brasilmagic’s Weblog -- Topsy.com | February 15, 2011 | Reply

  2. It is not uncommon to see gay couples walking hand and hand on the streets in New York City or even kissing for that matter. There is a huge explosion in the African American community of very openly out lesbians that dress like Hip Hop thugs. They call themselves aggressives or AG for short. They are a common site on the trains here in their baggy jeans and caps. Some old West Indians might role their eyes at them, but generally people won’t dare say anything to them because they will fight. There are also quite a few gay men here that if provoked will kick a persons ass. We have muscle queens here in New York City which are gay guys that go to the gym all the time and have huge muscles. I think things are a lot more repressed elsewhere in the country, but here in New York City many gay people are out and live fully expressed lives. There are a ton of them raising kids as well. I have a classmate in my physiology class that is lesbian and her partner had a boy recently. The two of them are raising him together.

    Comment by RamonB | February 26, 2011 | Reply

  3. Interesting post! I’m from Argentina and I can relate to our Brazilian neighbors. The Catholic Church is also very influential in Argentina, but we still managed to pass marriage equality nationwide! Perhaps Brazil will be next.

    Comment by Siegfeld | March 31, 2011 | Reply

  4. @RamonB The fact that gays feel they need to be violent to “express” themselves is another reason why they are not liked. Muscle doesn’t mean they can fight, I won’t start trouble but if a gay person feels the need to get in my face I will defend myself.
    The best I can do is be tolerant of gays but that doesn’t mean I like them or accept them. It just means I will mind my own business if they do the same.

    Comment by Me | April 6, 2011 | Reply

    • All gay’s are not violent in fact we are attacked violently because we are gay and a lot do not even defend ourselves leading to so many of our deaths we don’t need your acceptance or friendship

      Comment by lovenotwar | February 26, 2015 | Reply

  5. I forgot to add, the picture that is used in this blog, is perfect example of why I don’t like gays. Why would I want to be within 100 feet of people like that?

    Comment by Me | April 6, 2011 | Reply

    • Me, you don’t like gay people because it affects your life in what way?

      Comment by Brasilmagic | February 3, 2012 | Reply

  6. Brasilmagic – Thank you so much for this site and THANK YOU for your support of LGBT people. I’m a gay guy who is dating a Brazilian here in the States. We are very much in love and very compatible (interests, intellect, physically, emotionally). Sometimes, though, he gets very jealous and fires up emotionally over things I think are minor. I try very hard to be sensitive to the things that would make him jealous (taking tips from your blog!) and tell him constantly how much I love him. But I’m not perfect, and he will take seemingly minor things to the extreme. Weeks will go by with us having a wonderful time together, and then he snaps quickly, and drama comes from nowhere. He will usually apologize and agree that he behaved irrationally. He blames it on his cultural upbringing and is very hard on himself, which makes me feel bad. This type of thing only happens occasionally, but I can see it blowing up someday in the future. I love this guy A LOT, and I want to do everything I can to ensure we last a long time. I want to learn about his culture and learn the ways our cultures can co-exist. Your blog is very helpful, but do you have any resources for American/Brazilian/Latin gay couples? A book or website perhaps? (I’ve not been lucky with internet searches.) I would appreciate any information you could provide!!!

    Comment by American Needs Help! | April 28, 2011 | Reply

    • ANH, I think my husband would agree with you inane ways 🙂 I think our Latin culture, no matter if we are heterosexual or homosexual, is much louder, emotional, dramatic. You may be anglo-Saxon, Irish or of Germanic descent, and generally the people of Northern Europe keep their feelings more to themselves. I think in your situation, such as any American man married to women, you will need patience & an understanding of what sets him off, what kind of reassurance he needs, how to not get mad or overeact when he is emotional. Sometimes just a hug and a “I know how you feel” can help. As in any relationship, people sometimes get lazy & take their partner for granted. Maybe your guy needs more romance, and you need to keep that in mind. I hope more same sex couples can come here and share their experience.

      Comment by Brasilmagic | April 28, 2011 | Reply

      • Thank you! That is helpful. 🙂

        Comment by American Needs Help! | April 30, 2011

  7. I don’t agree to homosexual.

    Comment by Cannonn | October 23, 2011 | Reply

  8. HELLO,
    I too am dating a FINE Brazilian man . Right now he is in Brazil and I am in the U.S. and to say we are frustrated is putting it mildly. He is trying to get his STUDENT Visa to come to study here and yet he has been rejected by the American Consulate in Recife. I would like any resources for getting a visa …or even marriage would be an option. We were thinking of Washington State, just passed a marriage equility law. yeah..
    Anyway if you have any resources or ideas for us…send it our way…

    Comment by Ken Wortley | February 3, 2012 | Reply

  9. one more thing, i am not sure if i agreee that Brazilian gay guys are more ‘out’ than their counter parts in the U.S. When i reflect upon my recent visit to NORTHEAST Brazil things are radically different than Sao Paulo or Rio.
    I found the gay guys up north deep deep in the closet and are very careful with any PDA! …just a thought
    ken

    Comment by Ken Wortley | February 3, 2012 | Reply

  10. absurd gays are not born, they are choicen. God condemns gay. Ro.1:27.

    Comment by a to j | February 21, 2012 | Reply

    • WOW! to j….please re read the BIBLE…because NO WHERE DOES GOD CONDEMN GAYS……sorry to break it to you…

      Comment by Ken Wortley | February 27, 2012 | Reply

      • A man shall not lie with another man…

        Comment by Brasilmagic | February 27, 2012

      • Until you become god leave the judging up to him. And remember… Not everyone follows the bible to the t and not everyone practices organized religion so as long as your following your faith keep your relationship with god between you and him not everyone else. What other people do Is none of your business. How did you find this article anyway. Curious are we? Moron

        Comment by Dd | December 6, 2012

    • Spelling?

      Comment by Brasilmagic | February 27, 2012 | Reply

  11. I am not Brazilian but I wish I could be. I live in Miami and I wear sungas all the time to the beach even though most guys wear boardshorts. People always stare at me but I don’t care. The brazilian women are beautiful and their accents are so sexy. Ideally I would love a brazilian girlfriend. I like gay guys too, they are funny and cool they always compliment my body although I am not turned on by men, only women. To each their own. For me it’s better because a lot of gay guys are very good looking and so if they get together with each other that means more women for me and no good looking guys to compete with. hahahaha sorry but it’s true.

    Markus

    Comment by Markus | February 27, 2012 | Reply

  12. If you don’t beleive in a Holy and Just God then these words mean NOTHING to you. But i was because of these things that Gods wrath came upon the world. It is why we needed a redeemer.

    Romans 1:20-28
    20 For (A)since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, (B)being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21 For even though they knew God, they did not [a]honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became (C)futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 (D)Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and (E)exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and [b]crawling creatures.
    24 Therefore (F)God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be (G)dishonored among them. 25 For they exchanged the truth of God for [c]a (H)lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, (I)who is blessed [d]forever. Amen.

    26 For this reason (J)God gave them over to (K)degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is [e]unnatural, 27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, (L)men with men committing [f]indecent acts and receiving in [g]their own persons the due penalty of their error.

    28 And just as they did not see fit [h]to acknowledge God any longer, (M)God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper,

    .

    Comment by Rainer | March 2, 2012 | Reply

    • I let this post fly because I wanted to show my readers what a ridiculous rant this is. Prejudiced, illogical, filled with hatred.written in times where society was basically illiterate and science was almost non-existent. Religion is a form of insanity. And usually people like you can’t spell…

      Comment by Brasilmagic | March 2, 2012 | Reply

  13. You are very fervent with your agenda against anything to do with a Holy God. Just saying, this is a huge opinion and I agree you should leave this post up!

    Comment by Rainer | March 2, 2012 | Reply

  14. Aboration not allowed? That is old news. It’s okay to have many innocent children thrown to the streets,begging for food,money. Afterwards, they are killed by police,drug people. That is acceptable via society.I have never seen so many kids on the street of Brazil in my life. When I was there, I became depressed; never returned to Brazil. For Heaven’s sake, give them protection from having kids. I don’t think “God” wants to see his children, drugged,killed for the fun of it. In Brazil, you can be killed easily and if young,they’ll steal you body parts to sell.

    Comment by Harry Cohen | April 21, 2013 | Reply


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