By Jay Forte, Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – The 22nd edition of the LGBTI Pride Parade – Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transvestite, Transsexual, Transgender, Intersex and others – marched for political awareness yesterday, Sunday, June 3rd from 10AM to 6PM along Avenida Paulista, despite the cold and rainy weather.
The event was also marked by musical performances, among them the singer Pabllo Vittar and the speech of the architect Monica Benicio, widow of the city councilwoman Marielle Franco, who was murdered in Rio on March 14th.
Due to the truckers’ strike that crippled Brazil last week, organizers faced a disappointing turn out. Data from the city of São Paulo shows the occupancy of tourist in hotels traveling to participate in the LGBTI Parade dropped from ninety percent last year to fifty percent this year.
The Federation of Commerce of Goods, Services and Tourism of the State of São Paulo estimated a loss of R$104 million in revenues with tourism. The official number of participants in the event was not disclosed.
Before the event Mayor Bruno Covas told a government news source, “Despite the expectation of a drop in attendence due to the supply crisis, we will maintain the necessary structure for the event the size of last year.”
The message of the event remained strong though, Marco Antônio Silva, Junior, 25, an administrator told the news agency. “We want [the candidates’] proposals to be made jointly with the community and to embrace single-sexed sexualities and multisexualities, not just gays and lesbians. We need policies that go beyond, to listen to the non-binary population, the transsexual and bisexual population.”
Flávia Santana, 38, administrative assistant, highlighted the importance of proposals for LGBT health. “We want health policies. Professionals in this area are not prepared to deal with this population. We are victims not only of physical violence, but, above all, of psychological violence. The psychiatric offices are unprepared to receive us,” she said.
The city reported they set up nine hundred chemical toilets and distributed more than 550,000 condoms through the Municipal Program of Sexually Transmitted Diseases and AIDS. In addition, 39 blockades were erected along Paulista Avenue to curb illegal trade in beverages.