Brazilian governor and presidential candidate Eduardo Leite came out as gay, causing a sensation in a country that is going through an ultra-conservative wave embodied by President Jair Bolsonaro, who often makes homophobic comments.
In this Brazil, of little integrity, at this moment, we have to debate what we are, so that it is clear and there is nothing to hide. I’m gay, I’m a gay governor“Leite declared in an interview broadcast early Friday by popular TV Globo presenter Pedro Bial.
The centrist governor of the prosperous state of Rio Grande do Sul (south), 36, defined himself as “a gay governor. Not as a gay governor, just like [Barack] Obama in the United States was not a black president, but a black president. “
“And I’m proud of that,” continued Leite, who in the middle of “Pride Week” he wanted to face the rumors that have intensified since he became a candidate for the Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB) to the presidential elections of October 2022.
Now, with my participation in national politics, in that national debate, there are perhaps greater attacks on the part of my adversaries, “he said.
I go out to dinner with my boyfriend, I don’t hide from anyone. But there was always some noise, some understood, a joke from the president [Bolsonaro], the attacks of other politicians. That is not fair, it is not correct, it is not tolerable, “Leite continued.
According to the newspaper O Globo, It is the first time that a presidential candidate has declared himself gay in Brazil, where homosexuals and transsexuals suffer attacks on a daily basis.
His statement, advanced Thursday night by the media, became a trend on social networks, with messages where so far the praise predominates.
Admiration and respect for my friend @EduardoLeite_, “Sao Paulo Governor Joao Doria, his adversary as a PSDB candidate, tweeted.
I admire and respect my friend @EduardoLeite_
– João Doria (@jdoriajr) July 2, 2021
In the Brazil of hatred and intolerance, assuming one’s sexual orientation is a gesture of courage. My hug to the governor @EduardoLeite_, “wrote the former communist ‘gaúcha’ deputy (from Rio Grande do Sul) Manuela D’Ávila.
Issues related to sexual orientation were a workhorse for Bolsonaro during the 2018 election campaign, which was supported by ultra-conservative Pentecostal churches.
One of his favorite subjects was that of report an educational program against homophobia as a ‘gay kit’ with which the left would be trying to influence the sexual orientation of children.
In 2011, then-Deputy Bolsonaro declared:
He would be incapable of loving a homosexual son. I will not be a hypocrite: I would rather have a son die in an accident than appear with a mustachioed man. “
In November of last year, when the coronavirus pandemic started a deadly second wave, Bolsonaro criticized the confinement measures and urged Brazilians to “stop being a country of queers.”, maintaining a normal life so as not to compromise the economy.
*** MJPR ***