After five days of the intense day-and-night party that takes over Brazil during Carnival, drag queen Pabllo Vittar is exhausted. The 23-year-old phenomenon, who kicked the internet into overdrive last month after making out with Diplo in her music video for “Então Vai,” can finally take off her high heels, put her wigs away and reflect on her accomplishments: The country with the worst rates of anti-LGBTQ violence in the world has chosen her, a man, as its pop queen. Homophobia remains one of Brazil's most serious problems. Despite its gay-friendly image (think São Paulo’s Pride Parade, the world’s largest, or Rio de Janeiro’s gay beach), Brazil’s “homophobic violence has hit crisis levels, and it’s getting worse,” Amnesty International’s Jandira Queiroz told The New York Times in 2016. A recent analysis by Grupo Gay da Bahia (GGB), Brazil’s oldest LGBT rights organization, estimates that violent deaths of LGBTQ Brazilians have hit an all-time high in 2017: at least 387 people were killed, an increase of 30 percent from the previous year. As a comparison, the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs reported 52 deaths in the U.S. during the same time.
March 2 / Billboard