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social sciences

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Rio de Janeiro  
page: 1  2  


In 1978, inspired by the international gay and lesbian movement, a group of gay writers and intellectuals began publishing a monthly journal entitled Lampião da Esquina, a name that means literally "corner street lamp." The title of the tabloid played on the double meaning of the work Lampião, which as street light referred to cruising, but in a tongue-in-cheek manner also referred to the person Lampião, a hyper-masculine Robin Hood-like bandit figure from the Brazilian Northeast.

Based in Rio de Janeiro, Lampião served as a clearinghouse for the emerging politicized glbtq movement. It also promoted the idea of building alliances with Black groups, feminists, the indigenous movement, and ecologists. During its three-year run, Lampião solidified in Brazil the idea of coming out as a political act.

Sponsor Message.

When gay groups in Rio de Janeiro decided to host the International Lesbian and Gay Association's Seventeenth International Conference in 1995, the movement in Rio de Janeiro was still quite fragile. However, the participation of several hundred international guests as well as the enthusiastic logistic support offered by Brazilians from across the country helped consolidate a national movement in Brazil.

At the end of the Conference, two thousand people marched down Atlantic Avenue with a hundred meter-long rainbow flag in the largest Pride Parade in Brazil up until that time. In 2003, a quarter of a million people retraced those steps for the June Pride Celebration.

In spite of the violence that has plagued the city and the stark social differences between the privileged and the poor, Rio de Janeiro continues to be a fun-filled gay and lesbian mecca.

James N. Green

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social sciences >> Overview:  Brazil

A notably diverse country, Brazil is also home to one of the world's most dynamic glbtq political movements.

social sciences >> Overview:  Parades and Marches

Both parades and marches have served to render the glbtq community visible; whereas marches typically attempt to effect political change, parades and pride events affirm identity and community.

social sciences >> International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA)

The International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA) is a worldwide federation of local and national groups dedicated to achieving equal rights for glbtq people.

arts >> Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras, or Carnival, as it is often called, is a festival known for wild abandon, sexual promiscuity, feasting, drinking, dancing, parading, and elaborate masquerade.

arts >> Rainbow Flag

Designed by Gilbert Baker in 1978, the rainbow flag has become a popular (and sometimes controversial), internationally recognized symbol of gay and lesbian pride.

social sciences >> Transsexuals of Brazil

Transgender people--more specifically, people who were born male but present themselves as female--are Brazil's single most marginalized group.


Green, James N. Beyond Carnival: Male Homosexuality in Twentieth-Century Brazil. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999.

Kulick, Don. Travesti: Sex, Gender, and Culture among Brazilian Transgendered Prostitutes. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998.

Mott, Luiz R. B. Epidemic of Hate: Violations of the Human Rights of Gay Men, Lesbians and Transvestites in Brazil. San Francisco: Grupo Gay da Bahia/International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, 1996.

Parker, Richard. Beneath the Equator: Cultures of Desire, Male Homosexuality, and Emerging Gay Communities in Brazil. New York: Routledge, 1999.


    Citation Information
    Author: Green, James N.  
    Entry Title: Rio de Janeiro  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
    Publication Date: 2004  
    Date Last Updated December 14, 2006  
    Web Address  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 2004, glbtq, inc.  


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