From backstage to spotlight: LGBTQ samba group takes on Rio carnival.


For the first time ever, a majority-LGBTQ samba outfit will take part in Rio carnival’s famous street parades, flaunting rather than hiding their sexual identity. In the lead-up to their big debut, members of the group Bangay rehearse at a community center in Rio’s Bangu neighborhood. The glitzy costumes, makeup, samba rhythms and sensual hip movements are just like those associated with the traditional samba schools that have drawn flocks of tourists to Rio for decades. But there is one big difference, Bangay founder Sandra Andrea dos Santos told AFP. The group’s members are “90 percent LGBTQIA+”—a first for Rio and its annual carnival.

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