São Paulo Pride Parade Goes Brazilcore and Reclaims National Symbols

This annual event along Sao Paulo’s main thoroughfare is one of the largest gay pride parades in the world
June 4, 2024
São Paulo Pride
Erika Hilton Sao Paulo Pride 2024. Photo: Rovena Rosa/Agência Brasil

On Sunday (2), the iconic yellow and green of Brazil’s flag blended with a sea of rainbow-colored tutus, hand fans, and extravagant drag queen hairdos at Sao Paulo’s LGBTQ pride parade.

This annual event along Sao Paulo’s main thoroughfare is one of the largest gay pride parades in the world. It attracts thousands of people to celebrate sexual diversity in a country known for its street parties but where violence and discrimination against the LGBTQ community have surged in recent years.

While attire is generally optional, organizers this year embraced the Brazilcore trend by donning green and yellow colors. This was a pointed response to conservative followers of former President Jair Bolsonaro, who in recent times have appropriated Brazil’s national symbols.

“We will march this afternoon to take back our flag and to show that Brazil will be better, it will be queer, butch, transvestite,” declared Erika Hilton, who in 2022 became one of the first two openly transgender people elected to Brazil’s congress, to a cheering crowd.

São Paulo Pride
Erika Hilton Sao Paulo Pride 2024. Photo: Uol

São Paulo Pride has pioneered LGBTQ rights in Latin America

Although Brazil has pioneered LGBTQ rights in Latin America — transphobia was made a crime in 2019 — the country still has the highest number of trans and queer people murdered in the world. In 2023, Brazil was responsible for 31% of all 321 murders of trans and gender-diverse people reported worldwide, according to Transgender Europe, which collects global data. It was the 16th consecutive year Brazil topped this tragic list.

Despite the concerning statistics on LGBTQ violence in Brazil, São Paulo remains a welcoming LGBTQ destination with a diverse array of attractions, bars, restaurants, hotels, and everything else you could desire to experience here. For instance, it boasts the Museum of Sexual Diversity, conveniently located at República Metro Station for easy access. This vibrant area is also the epicenter of the street carnival and offers opportunities to stroll along Rua Augusta, where diversity is at the heart of São Paulo’s culture.

Tatiana Cesso

As a journalist, I've made it my mission to explore and share stories that inspire, inform, and entertain. You may have stumbled upon my work in esteemed publications such as InStyle, Marie Claire, Bazaar, L’Officiel, and Vogue, among others. Having called the U.S. home since 2010, I've lived in Chicago, LA, and currently, Miami. But my heart always beats to the rhythm of Brazil. It's where I was born and raised, and my love for its culture, people, and energy knows no bounds. To share this passion, I've founded Brazilcore, a platform aimed at bridging the gap between Brazil and English speakers worldwide.

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