|Jair Bolsonaro (image via Flickr/Agência Brasil Fotografias – CC License)|
While LGBTQ people in the United States continue to cope with the ongoing assault by the Trump administration on our community’s rights and protections, Brazil has just elected its own homophobic president, Jair Bolsonaro.
Bolsonaro, who has been called ‘the Trump of the Tropics,’ is a 30-year veteran of Brazil’s congress as well as a retired Army captain.
The 63-year-old clinched the presidency with 55% of the vote in a run-off against Fernando Haddad from the left-wing Workers Party.
He won the election with campaign promises to fight crime and corruption, but it’s his homophobic statements that have LGBTQ Brazilians more than a little concerned.
“Yes, I’m homophobic – and very proud of it,” he once proclaimed.
In 2011, he told Playboy that he would be “incapable of loving a homosexual child.”
“I’m not going to act like a hypocrite here,” he added. “I’d rather have my son die in an accident than show up with some mustachioed guy.”
Bolsonaro admits he wouldn’t even live near gay people. In that same interview he said, “If a homosexual couple comes to live next to me it will devalue my home.”
“If they walk around holding hands and kissing, that devalues it,” he added.
In 2010, he offered this advice on how to raise a gay son on the television program Participaçăo Popular: “If your son starts acting a little gay, hit him with some leather, and he’ll change his behavior.”
In 2002, he told Folha de Săo Paulo, “I will not fight nor discriminate, but if I see two men kissing in the street, I’ll hit them.”
In a 2013 interview with Stephen Fry, he told the UK reporter “Brazilians don’t like homosexuals.” Fry called it one of the ‘most chilling confrontations’ he’s ever had with a human being.
Doesn’t he sound lovely?
It’s a deadly time for LGBTQ Brazilians as violence against the community has continued to rise.
According to Gay Star News, there have been more than 300 murders of LBGTQ people in 2018 already. That’s an increase from 220 at this same time in 2017.
Additionally, there have been 713 hate crimes committed against LGBTQ individuals in 2018.