Sao Paolo pride parade draws hundreds of thousands

Parade participants called for their issues to be taken up by candidates for municipal elections in October (Miguel SCHINCARIOL)
Parade participants called for their issues to be taken up by candidates for municipal elections in October (Miguel SCHINCARIOL)

Hundreds of thousands of people took over central Sao Paulo Sunday for the city's annual Pride parade, many dazzling in green and yellow as part of a campaign to "reclaim" Brazil's flag colors appropriated by the political right.

A massive rainbow flag covered the facade of the Sao Paulo Art Museum to welcome revelers in a festive atmosphere of pumping music and extravagant costumes, with banners proclaiming: "All forms of loving, all forms of being."

For Eugenio dos Santos, one of those decked out in yellow and green, participating in the event -- one of the world's biggest -- is "fighting for visibility, against violence, saying that we exist and are citizens with all the rights and duties" that entails.

Almost 20 million Brazilians, some 10 percent of the population, identify as LGBTQ+, according to the Brazilian ABGLT association.

Parade participants called for their issues to be taken up by candidates for municipal elections in October.

It came just days after far-right and evangelical parties in Congress managed to pass a ban on using public money for promoting or funding measures that oppose "traditional family" values, such as abortion or gender-change surgery for minors.

Organizers of this year's event had called for participants to dress in yellow and green as a form of protest against far-right former president Jair Bolsonaro and his supporters, who had usurped the national colors during his rule.

Homophobic crimes are punishable under Brazilian law since 2019, but aggressions against gay and transsexual people are registered daily.

Rights groups say 145 trans people were killed in the country in 2023.

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