Amid fear, Brazil’s LGBT+ politicians vow to fight back against attacks

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05/17/2019

Brazilian openly gay politician Fabio Felix used to feel comfortable holding his boyfriend’s hand and kissing him in public, but after the swearing in of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro nearly six months ago, he now sometimes thinks twice. Brazil’s LGBT+ politicians have said they face a backlash and setbacks in their rights under the conservative government of Bolsonaro, who has declared himself a ‘proud’ homophobe and has openly made offensive comments about sexual minorities. “Our president is against democracy, against diversity,” said Felix, a district congressman in Brasilia, with the leftist opposition Socialism and Liberty Party (PSOL). “All the time he uses the worst speech you can imagine. We are living difficult times. The environment is terrible … LGBT people have more fear,” he said, speaking on the sidelines of an event in Bogota, Colombia, hosted by the Victory Institute, a nonprofit which seeks to elect LGBT+ candidates.

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