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Since the election of far-right politician Jair Bolsonaro, the rights of Brazil’s LGBT+ community are under threat. Attitude speaks to six queer people to find out about their hopes and fears, and how they feel about the future


Many Attitude readers will have dreamed of visiting Brazil for a holiday: sunbathing on the famous beaches of Rio, trekking through the rainforest and seeing the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue. But there’s a much darker side to the South American hot spot, one that’s recently come out of the shadows. Brazil’s new president, the former army oficer Jair Bolsonaro, was inaugurated in early January. He’s the latest in the wave of far-right, authoritarian leaders who have come to power around the world in the past few years.

With almost three decades of political experience, 63-year-old Bolsonaro has carved out a reputation as a strident supporter of national conservatism and as a vocal opponent of social issues faced by minority groups. He has called refugees “the scum of the earth”, told a female politician that he wouldn’t rape her because she didn’t “deserve it”, and has advocated torture, gun ownership and returning the country to a dictatorship. “We will never resolve serious national problems with this irresponsible democracy,” he is reported as saying. And when it comes to the LGBT+ community, he’s not been short of things to say either. “I would be incapable of loving a homosexual son,” he said in 2011, adding: “I’d rather my son died in an accident than showed up with some bloke with a moustache.”

He had more to say in 2013, stating: “We Brazilians don’t like homosexuals,” and the following year asked, “Are [gays] demi-gods? Just because someone has sex with his excretory organ, it doesn’t make him better than anyone else.”

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About Attitude

On the cover: Dsquared2 from drag to designing for Madonna! Inside: Joel Edgerton on directing Boy Erased, the queer Brazilians resisting Bolsonaro, Syria's first openly gay actor, Owen Jones, and more.