Monday, May 9, 2011


Say what you will about Latin America's culture of machismo and history of anti-gay violence, Brazil's high court just announced that the State must recognize same-sex civil unions, making it only the second Latin American country to afford homosexual couples protection under the law (both Argentina and Mexico City recognize gay marriage). 

Another recent pro-homo story to come out of Brazil surprisingly involves the world of sports, a macho institution in any culture.  While volleyball might be considered friendly to fairies in the States, it approaches only football (soccer) as the most popular sport in much of Latin America.  Despite the sport's reputation here, a recent volleyball match last month found crowds shouting epithets at one team's flamboyant player, Michael Santos.  As Santos went to serve the ball, the excitable crowd began chanting "Bicha!  Bicha!  Bicha!" (Faggot!  Faggot!  Faggot!)    

You can watch video of the match below:

Santos resisted the temptation to hurl insults back at the crowd and continued the game.  Visibly shaken, the match prompted Santos to come out of the closet on Brazilian TV.  To demonstrate their solidarity, his teammates showed up at the next semi-final match wearing pink uniforms.  The team's captain even wore a rainbow jersey.  Fans of the team Vôlei Futuro didn't stop there, unfurling a large banner that read "Vôlei Futuro Against Prejudice" and brandishing large neon pink phallic batons to wave their support. Who says institutions can't change.  :-)


  1. Wow - that's a beautiful story! Thank you for sharing.

  2. That actually brought a tear to my eye, and I look forward to a lifetime tv movie depicting the story.

  3. Aê, Brasil! É nóis.

  4. Brazil has been a great country for me, I`m 26 and did expect to have my gay rights recognized by the supreme court, since the congress is not that friendly, and here the civil union grants basically the same rights as marriage does. So there you go, we`re very happy.

  5. After this, Cruzeiro had to pay a 50 thousand reais (about 27 thousand dollar) fine because of the bad behavior of the crowd. Volei futuro won the second game.
    Brasil is going (step by step) on the right way, the civil union is pretty much the same as marriage here and our public health care system affords sex reassignment surgery for both sex.
    Despite that, every two days a homosexual is killed in a hate crime (including Alexandre Ivo, a 14 years-old boy). We are making progress but there's still a long road ahead.