Brazil: Governor Comes Out In Advance Of Presidential Campaign

Eduardo Leite of Brazil (image via Facebook)

Eduardo Leite, governor of the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil and a 2022 presidential hopeful, has come out as gay.

Leite, who hopes to challenge his country’s virulently anti-LGBTQ leader, President Jair Bolsonaro, in next year’s election, came out during an interview with Brazil’s top broadcaster, TV Globo.

“I’m gay — and I’m a governor who is gay rather than a gay governor,” Leite shared with viewers. “Just as Obama in the United States wasn’t a Black president, but a president who was Black. And I’m proud of this.”

Leite, a member of the center-right Brazilian Social Democratic Party (SDB), went on to say he has nothing to hide and wished that sexual orientation was a “non-issue” in Brazil.

The 36-year-old’s announcement was met with much support from the worlds of Brazilian politics and LGBTQ activism.

The Guardian reports Toni Reis, a longtime advocate of LGBTQ rights in the South American country, wrote on social media, “You’ve made history.”

“I know the pain the prison of the closet represents, particularly in a conservative environment like politics,” tweeted Fabiano Contarato, Brazil’s first openly gay senator elected in 2018. “Everyone must find the right moment for this gesture. Be happy and follow your great work: life will be lighter!”

Leite responded to the public show of support on Twitter writing, “The countless messages of care and support I am receiving make me absolutely safe. Love will conquer hate! Thank you very very much everyone!”

Amid the positive responses, however, were some who noted that Leite eventually came to publicly support Bolsonaro in his 2018 presidential campaign on the eve of the election although he disagreed with Bolsonaro on several policies including the treatment of minorities.

At the time, Leite called his decision a “democratic gesture.”

According to The Guardian, Jean Wyllys, the first out member of Brazil’s congress to fight for LGBT+ rights, noted that Leite has yet to disavow his previous support for Bolsonaro.

“This chap had many opportunities to defend the LGBT community and he didn’t,” said Wyllys. “On the contrary … he was a Bolsonarista until yesterday – and he’s probably still one today, because at no point has he retracted his support for Bolsonaro.”

“So I don’t celebrate this,” added Wyllys. “I’m not part of this team of people who are commemorating this chap coming out of the closet as if it was some great accomplishment for Brazil’s LGBT+ community.”

(source: The Guardian)

News Round-Up: July 2, 2021

Teen Wolf star Tyler Posey
Teen Wolf star Tyler Posey
Tyler Posey (via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

NME: Former Teen Wolf star Tyler Posey says he’s still figuring out his sexuality. “I’ve been with everybody under the sun, and right now I’m in the best relationship that I’ve ever been in with a woman, and she’s queer too. She’s helped me realize that I fit under the queer umbrella and that I’m sexually fluid, I guess.”

them: Around 1,000 people made history this week by taking part in the first-ever Pride event at one of America’s most conservative Mormon colleges. On Monday, current and former students of Brigham Young University (BYU) gathered at Provo, Utah’s Joaquin Park before walking a mile to Kiwanis Park, a grassy expanse just east of campus.

PBS: New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced Wednesday that Andrew Bruck would be appointed acting attorney general for the remainder of Murphy’s term. Bruck will be the first openly gay attorney general in state history.

Instinct Magazine: Gilead Sciences is looking to get its ‘once every six months’ HIV inhibitor injection, Lenacapavir, approved by the FDA.

The Advocate: Sha’Carri Richardson, who made headlines recently for thanking her girlfriend after qualifying for the Olympics, will now miss at least part of the games due to a positive marijuana test.

News Round-Up: June 9, 2021

Trump supporters Joshua Hall is charged with scamming Trump supporters
Trump supporters Joshua Hall is charged with scamming Trump supporters
Joshua Hall (image via Edge Media)

Some news items you might have missed:

Edge Media: A 22-year-old DoorDash delivery man from Pennsylvania reportedly used a social media scam, which included creating the fake organization called “Gay Voices for Trump,” to solicit donations from Trump supporters. Joshua Hall (above) is a “big Trump supporter,” but that didn’t stop him from defrauding his fellow supporters out of thousands of dollars.

Riding for Pride: Trek Bicycle will be celebrating Pride Month by hosting individual Pride Ride events on June 27 in support of their local communities and will be donating a total of $75,000 across local LGBTQIA+ organizations.

Associated Press: Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and other top department officials took part in the Pentagon’s 10th annual LGBT Pride Month celebration on Wednesday morning. In his comments, Austin commemorated the progress the military had come in standing up for LGBTQ+ rights but recognized that there was still work to come.

The Advocate: A gay man in Florianópolis, Brazil, was gang-raped last week, one of the latest examples of horrific violence against LGBTQ+ people in the country — violence that activists say is spurred on by the nation’s homophobic president.

Page Six: The Bachelor host Chris Harrison demanded a $25 million payout after being booted from the show — and threatened to spill all the franchise’s dirty secrets if he didn’t get it, sources told Page Six. “He has nearly 20 years of dirt,” an ABC source said Tuesday.

New York Post: Jeff Bezos is getting shafted online over the shape of his big rocket. “Is it me, or does Jeff Bezos’ rocket look like a giant penis?” one person tweeted alongside a photo of Blue Origin, the craft the 57-year-old world’s richest man will fly into space next month. “I thought ‘penis’ as soon as I saw that image,” another person agreed.

COVID Cases, Hospitalizations & Deaths Plunged After 75% Of Brazilian City Vaccinated

Vials of COVID-19 vaccine

Vials of COVID-19 vaccine

Brazil has experienced devastating effects from the coronavirus pandemic, including over 460,000 deaths, due in part to a lack of vaccine doses.

The producer of China’s CoronaVac vaccine in Brazil, the Instituto Butantan, took on an interesting experiment involving nearly the entire population of the town of Serrano in São Paulo state.

Statista reports that 95 percent of Serrano’s 45,000 inhabitants were fully vaccinated with CoronaVac between the months of February and April.

When that process was completed:

• symptomatic Covid-19 cases fell 80 percent
• hospitalizations declined 86 percent
• deaths plunged 95 percent

Ricardo Palacios, research director at Butantan, said that 75 percent was the crucial figure in the study. Once three quarters of Serrano’s population was fully vaccinated, all three of the above metrics tumbled, suggesting 75 percent is the threshold required to contain and control the pandemic.

In other words – vaccines work.

(graphic via Statista)

News Round-Up: May 29, 2021

The Pentagon will host a Pride Month event including an address by the Defense Secretary

Some news items you might have missed:

Washington Blade: Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is set to deliver the keynote address for an upcoming event at the Pentagon recognizing Pride Month. Defense Secretaries attended such events during the Obama years, but the practice halted during the “other guy’s” administration.

Instinct Magazine: When the pandemic shut down many restaurants and bars, several states legalized to-go cocktails. Now, 14 states have made ‘roadies’ legal forever.

Washington Post: Vietnam’s Health Ministry announced Saturday that it had detected a highly transmissible new variant of the coronavirus that has helped fuel a recent wave of infections in the country.

Dallas Voice: Out writer/actor Ryan O’Connell chats with the Texas outlet about his TV series Special. The Netflix show is loosely based on his own life as an out gay man living with cerebral palsy.

HuffPost: Brazil’s homophobic President Jair Bolsonaro is moving closer and closer to being defeated in next year’s election. As he edges towards crisis mode, he is becoming more abusive toward his adversaries.

Hulu: The documentary Changing The Game takes us into the lives of three high school athletes—all at different stages of their athletic seasons, personal lives, and unique paths as transgender teens.

The film centers on Mack Beggs, who made headlines when he became the Texas State Champion in girls wrestling – as a boy – and all he wanted to do was wrestle on the boys team.

Also featured are Sarah, a skier and teen policymaker in New Hampshire, and Andraya, a track star in Connecticut openly competing on the girls track team.

News Round-Up: May 17, 2021

Guillermo Flores, dancer/choreographer and member of Drag Race Espana's Pit Crew
Guillermo Flores, dancer/choreographer and member of Drag Race Espana's Pit Crew
Guillermo Flores, dancer/choreographer and member of Drag Race Espana’s Pit Crew

Some news items you might have missed:

OUT: Police in Brazil announced the arrests of three suspects in the brutal murder of gay activist teacher, Professor Lindolfo Kosmaski. The body of the 25-year-old was found bullet-ridden in a burned car on the side of a highway in the municipality of São João do Triunfo on April 30.

CNN: Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed a controversial bathroom bill into law Friday that will deny transgender students access to the bathroom and locker rooms consistent with their gender identity. Lee also signed a transgender sports bill into law in March that requires students to prove their sex at birth in order to play middle and high school sports.

Instinct Magazine: For the inaugural season of Drag Race España, the Pit Crew has been supersized with twelve brand new members.  That’s Pit Crew member Guillermo Flores up top. #woof

BosGuy: The longtime Boston-based blogger reminds us in his weekly ‘Men In Kilts’ feature that wool kilts can be itchy. His ‘Monday Morning Mancandy‘ is worth a peek as well.

Huffpost: Universal Pictures is postponing the international distribution of Promising Young Woman amid outrage that male actors were hired to dub Laverne Cox’s voice in European editions of the movie.

Mediaite: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) claimed this week that a Democrat-backed bill would “automatically register” millions of illegal immigrants to vote. CNN fact checker Daniel Dale wasn’t having it, bluntly responding to a video clip of Cruz by saying, “None of what you just heard is correct.” Here’s the fact check:

News Round-Up: May 7, 2021

Sergio J. Matos and Jim Newman
Sergio J. Matos and Jim Newman
Sergio J. Matos and Jim Newman

Some news items you might have missed:

OUT: The Village People’s Jim Newman (above) moved to Brazil for love. The Broadway daddy would love a return to performing, but for now he’s happy hunkering down on the beach with his fiancé, Sergio J. Matos.

Instinct Magazine: Ryan Reynolds wants his anti-hero super-hero Deadpool to be pansexual (per the original source comics) in the upcoming Marvel Studios film Deadpool 3.

Kenneth-in-the-212: Check out Kenneth’s weekly round-up of the what’s what in LGBTQ publications like the latest issue of WireMag (below) featuring body builder Steve Rogers.

NBC News: Middle school students in Texas have accused a teacher of defacing their chalk art of Pride flags by scrawling “heteros rule” over top of it. The school district is apparently dodging the issue by sending out a “vague” email implying there was a dustup (but didn’t explain what happened).

Axios: Oklahoma has secured a $2.6 million refund for a malaria drug purchase once touted by Donald Trump as a treatment for COVID-19. Trump repeatedly promoted hydroxychloroquine last year despite health officials warning that the drug should not be prescribed for treating COVID-19 outside of research or hospital settings due to serious side effects.

Twitter: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) told a Trump supporter he “led the fight” to overturn the 2020 election (take that Josh Hawley). But as the cultist grows more fervent, Cruz (aware a camera is on him) has to pull away.

With COVID Deaths Soaring, Brazil’s President Says He’s The Victim

President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil (photo: Flickr/Isac Nóbrega – CC license)

The coronavirus pandemic continues to savage the country of Brazil as more than 45,000 died from COVID in the last month.

But President Jair Bolsonaro is casting himself as the victim.

From CNN:

In the coastal city of Rio de Janeiro, intensive care units are 95% full. Fifteen other state capitals are similarly verging on collapse, with ICU occupancy over 90% — a deluge of hospitalizations that has accompanied a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases in the country.

While Covid-19 cases are beginning to plateau or decline in many countries, Brazil is reporting record daily numbers. Just on Wednesday the country saw its largest daily jump in cases since the start of the pandemic — 90,303 new cases.

“Here it became a war against the President. It seems that people only die of Covid,” Bolsonaro, who wasn’t wearing a mask, told supporters outside the presidential palace on Thursday.

“The hospitals are 90% occupied. But we need to find out how many are from Covid and how many are from other illnesses,” he said.

Perhaps Bolsonaro should consult Brazil’s health ministry which reported 2,724 more people had died from the virus that very day bringing the total to 287,499.

The South American nation is the second worst-affected nation in the world in regard to total number of cases and deaths due to coronavirus, after the U.S.