SAO PAULO – The Brazilian city of Sao Paulo held on Sunday its gay pride parade, one of the biggest in the world, and urged people to vote wisely in the upcoming elections in October in order to carry forward the fight against homophobia.
This year’s march was attended by Monica Benicio, the partner of Brazilian councilor and activist Marielle Franco, who was assassinated in Rio de Janeiro in March, allegedly by members of a militia.
“This is a political act, an act of resistance, Brazil is one of the countries with the most LGBT murders in the world,” Benicio said in her speech.
Franco, 38, was black, a teenage mother, bisexual and raised in a favela (slum), and her struggle has become symbolic, with the parade paying homage to her on the central Paulista Avenue.
Statistics show that a person from the LGBT community dies or commits suicide every 19 hours in Brazil, according to data published this year by the nonprofit Gay Group of Bahia.
Murders grew 30 percent in Brazil in 2017 compared to the year before and the number of homicides of LGBT people grew from 343 in 2016 to 445 in 2017.
The most populated and richest city in Brazil was filled with rainbow colors on Sunday, aimed at supporting equality and letting people know about the candidature of politicians who support the rights of lesbians, gays, transsexuals, bisexuals and intersexuals.