participants talk about what it’s like to live the Parade after 2 years

After two years without being held in person due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the LGBTQIA+ Parade returns this Sunday (19) to Avenida Paulista, in São Paulo. In this 26th edition of the event, the public is expected to reach three million people.

“We have high expectations. This year’s theme is ‘Vote with pride for policies that represent you’, which is very important, especially now. Our visual identity even has an urn, to say that we trust the urn and that it is a tool for democracy”, says Luiz de França, one of the directors of the São Paulo LGBT Parade.

He states that the Parade will not draw cries specifically against or in favor of any candidate. But there are already some cries against the President of the Republic, especially from the young people who are here. “We know who is in favor of democracy and the LGBT population”, says Luiz.

Universa spoke with participants to feel the mood of being back on the streets after two years.

Teacher Nancy Frajote, 64, participated in all editions of Parada - Andre Porto - Andre Porto

Teacher Nancy Frajote, 64, participated in all editions of the Parada

Image: André Porto

Professor Nancy Frajote, 64, has participated in the parade since its first edition, in 1997. She expects a large audience and believes that the theme, which defends democracy, is relevant to the current moment. “We are in an election year and we need to have a better conscience when voting, especially in this community and supporters, who have a duty to vote correctly”, she says. For her, the theme of the organization is intended to bring political discussion, but not to impose votes.

Marcos Lelis (left), 61, is a stylist and has been following the event since its first edition.  - Andre Porto - Andre Porto

Marcos Lelis (left), 61, is a stylist and has been following the event since its first edition.

Image: André Porto

Marcos Lelis, 61, is a stylist and has also been following the event since its first edition. For him, people’s awareness is better now. “Despite the bullshit, assault and lack of protection, I think people are more aware and are looking for legislation in our favor. You don’t need to vote for who everyone is talking about, but someone who values ​​us”, he said defending the theme chosen for the 2022 edition.

Felipe Wendel, from Barueri, was dying to go to the Parada. “This heat is very good. The highlight will be kissing on the mouth”, he said in conversation with Universa. He, who has always participated, defends the importance of votes and the fight for freedom of the LGBTQIA+ community.

Xazzi, 44, who is participating in costume for the fourth time, said his own had been in the oven for the past two years.  - Andre Porto - Andre Porto

Xazzi, 44, who is participating in costume for the fourth time, said his own had been in the oven for the past two years.

Image: André Porto

And of course, in addition to the colors of the rainbow, the costumes returned to Avenida Paulista. Xazzi, 44, who is participating in costume for the fourth time, said his own had been in the oven for the past two years. “The Parade is a movement of liberation and expression. To be able to be whoever we want and put everything out there”, he said. For her, the highlight of the day is not the attractions that will be performed in the trios Elétricos, but the people who are part of the event.

Politics and religion win the Avenue

Considered one of the largest LGBTQIA+ Parades in the world, São Paulo welcomes people from all states. Leônidas Ferraz, from Betim, Minas Gerais, is 36 years old and was in town to participate in a National Symposium of the Gay Network in Brazil. “We came to close here at Parada”, he says. It is already his seventh participation in the event in São Paulo.

He, who is the coordinator of the only movement organized in Betim and the State of Minas Gerais of the Gay Network of Brazil, has already regulated a public policy council in the municipality where he lives and is currently president, believes that 2022 is a year of renewal. “After two years without a Parade and suffering for the last four, we came to show that we are free and that the vote is our voice,” he said.

Commonly cited as a sin within religions, people from the LGBTQIA+ community have difficulties being welcomed into the church. Pastor Átila Augusto dos Santos, 49, who is in charge of Igreja da Vila, which is present at the Parade, explains that they are an inclusive and Pentecostal institution. “We’re turning 6 and we’re trying to overturn oppressions through Christian religions that sometimes don’t welcome homosexual people,” he said. The church even has a racial cut.

In the week in which the gospel singer, Bruna Karla, made homophobic statements during a participation in a podcast, Paulo Vitor, 37-year-old Minister of Praise of Igreja da Vila, says that the intention of these people with prejudiced speech is to keep homosexuals away from the church, when in fact the gospel preaches love.

“Jesus, the main character in the Bible, never said anything about LGBTs. He is the center of Christianity and he never made a line like that. When Bruna Karla does what she did, she highlights the oppression to make people follow the heterosexual norms within the church. And those who are not, feel oppressed, removed and in sin, instead of feeling free in the Christian community”, he said.

Walking as a couple

Daniel Moisés, 21, and João Vitor, 23, were walking along Avenida Paulista before the event even started.  - Andre Porto - Andre Porto

Daniel Moisés, 21, and João Vitor, 23, were walking along Avenida Paulista before the event even started.

Image: André Porto

Daniel Moisés, 21, and João Vitor, 23, were walking along Avenida Paulista before the event even started. For Daniel, the Parade had lost some of its meaning in previous editions. “It was more a mess than a protest, than being proud of what we are,” he said. He believes that the political issue is necessary for the community to have more voice and conviction to be. “I hope that tragic and homophobic things don’t happen here today, as I’ve seen before the pandemic,” he says.

This is the first edition that João Vitor participates. “I’m really enjoying it, but I understand the vibe. I hope I don’t suffer harassment and homophobia, but I’m really happy and excited to be here,” he said.

Cacau Melo, 27, is on his tenth stop.  She has been participating since she was 16 years old.  Raquel Caroline dos Santos, 22, came for the second time.  - Andre Porto - Andre Porto

Cacau Melo, 27, is on his tenth stop. She has been participating since she was 16 years old. Raquel Caroline dos Santos, 22, came for the second time.

Image: André Porto

Cacau Melo, 27, is on his tenth stop. She has been participating since she was 16 years old. Raquel Caroline dos Santos, 22, came for the second time. “I confess that I was anxious to come, because we have been without it for two years. I really like the Parade, to demand rights and fight for what we believe in”, says Cacau, who thought that the pro-democracy theme fits well for the moment we live in policy. “We need to wake up and change. Get more LGBTQIA+ people to fight for our rights,” she adds.

Together for 1 year and seven months, Sara Alves da Silva, 20, and Lizandra Silva, 22, came to the Parade for the first time - Andre Porto - Andre Porto

Together for 1 year and seven months, Sara Alves da Silva, 20 years old, and Lizandra Silva, 22 years old, came to the Parade for the first time.

Image: André Porto

The couple from the northeast, who live in São Paulo and have been together for 1 year and seven months, Sara Alves da Silva, 20, and Lizandra Silva, 22, came to the Parade for the first time. They are excited for Pablo’s show, but hoping that the surprise attraction will be Gloria Groove. “I was moved when I got here. You’d think there are few LGBTQIA+ people, but the audience is huge. As a couple, we’ve been through embarrassing situations and seeing everyone together for a cause is amazing”, says Sara.

About Abhishek Pratap

Food maven. Unapologetic travel fanatic. MCU's fan. Infuriatingly humble creator. Award-winning pop culture ninja.

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