Millions flock to Brazil Gay Pride Parade

By Ben Tavener, Monday, May 05, 2014

The city's annual LGBT Pride Parade this year calls for the criminalization of homophobia and better gender rights for the trans community

The city's annual LGBT Pride Parade this year calls for the criminalization of homophobia and better gender rights for the trans community

SÃO PAULO – Over a million people flooded the streets of central São Paulo this Sunday as the city's 18th annual Gay Pride Parade rode into town, with color, music and exotic fancy dress.

This year's parade called for the criminalization of those who discriminate against members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community, as well as calling for the the approval of the Gender Identity Bill which guarantees a simplified legal recognition of transgendered people.

The parade is seen as a family day out with people of all ages take part in the Carnival-like event, as well as having a political aspect. The parade traditionally begins at the São Paulo Museum of Art (MASP) and parades along the central business avenue, Avenida Paulista.

The numbers were up on last year's event, as the hot, sunny weather encouraged partygoers onto the streets. No official figures on the number of people at the event have been released but organizers were expecting at least 3 million revelers.

As many as 400,000 tourists, both Brazilian and foreign, are thought to have come to Brazil's biggest city for the event, which is funded in large part by the local government and state companies.

Some 2 million Brazilian reais (US$900,000) are invested in the event, but the government maintains it attracts around 220 million reais (US$100 million) to the local economy.

São Paulo State Governor Geraldo Alckmin, City Mayor Fernando Haddad and Special Secretary of Human Rights Ideli Salvatti were among the high-profile politicians at the event.

Speaking to journalists at the opening ceremony of the parade, Haddad reaffirmed his “repudiation of all kinds of LGBT crimes” and support for proposed anti-discrimination legislation.

Alckmin announced the future installation of a Museum of Sexual Diversity on Avenida Paulista after the success of smaller-scale exhibition in the city's República metro station.

After the many dancer-adorned floats left the parade, the partying continued and is expected to go on well into the night.

Copyright © 2014 Anadolu Agency