Rio LGBTI+ Parade prepares return after pandemic and difficulties

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After financial difficulties and two years of a pandemic, the LGBTI+ Parade in Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro, will return to color the edge of the carioca neighborhood on November 27 this year, announced this week the Grupo Arco-Íris de Cidadania LGBTI+, organizer of the event. President of the entity, Cláudio Nascimento highlights that the event will have a special role this year for lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transsexuals, transvestites and intersex people, as the pandemic was a period of intensified violence and increased inequalities.

“Even when food insecurity was discussed, we ended up at the end of the line. We understand that now is a strategic and very important moment to work on the issue of mental health and the inclusion of the LGBTI+ population, and of resumption and occupation of the streets, because this strengthens the self-esteem of a collective and of each individual who will be at the event”.

In addition to announcing the date of the 27th edition of the parade this year, Grupo Arco-Íris announced that, in 2023, the 28th edition will be on September 24. Nascimento explains that the idea is to generate more credibility and allow the population, tourists and the tourism industry to program themselves, since the last editions of the parade, in 2017, 2018 and 2019, faced financial difficulties caused by the cut in sponsorship and funding. support from the City of Rio de Janeiro.

“We went through four years of many difficulties. The event was weakened by this institutional posture”, said Cláudio. “This prevented the parade from growing much further. A parade with all the difficulties of the previous government took 1.2 million people to Copacabana. Imagine an event made in advance, with a nice structure and involvement of various actors of society”.

This year’s parade schedule will feature cultural activities throughout the month of November, such as cinema, theater and musical performances, in addition to discussions on various topics, such as economics, politics and culture. Among the novelties, one that is still kept secret must involve the parade’s gigantic rainbow flag, which is 124 meters long and 10 meters wide.

In addition to the support from the city hall, Cláudio Nascimento is already talking to private sponsors, but says that Rio companies need to get more involved with the cause.

“It is time for companies in Rio de Janeiro to act closer to the event, as has been happening in São Paulo for some time,” he said. “This event is important for fighting discrimination and for building a new civilizational framework, in which differences are not an instrument for inequalities, but to be celebrated as a plural possibility of human existences. Difference is potential, it is not can be conflict or dispute”.

The rapprochement with the LGBTI+ Parade in Copacabana is a movement to show that the city hall cares about the agenda, says the municipal secretary of tourism, Antônio Mariano, who emphasizes that the act is in the top 5 of the city’s biggest events, alongside New Year’s Eve, Carnival and Rock in Rio. With the anticipation for the organization of the act in 2023, he believes that there will be a greater number of foreign tourists participating in the event.

“Rio de Janeiro had many domestic tourists, from Brazil, from the beginning of the year until now. With the reduction of sanitary measures at a global level, the tendency is to have more foreign tourists. for the day”.

The secretary adds that Rio de Janeiro is internationally recognized as a tourist destination that welcomes diversity, which is why it is on the list of favorite cities for LGBTI+ tourists. The Copacabana LGBTI+ Parade, in turn, also has international visibility.

“The LGBT tourist, in particular, is a tourist who has a higher spending potential than the non-LGBT tourist, because he usually stays in more expensive places, goes to more expensive places, has more expensive experiences, so he ends up rotating more this wheel,” he said. “For us, it’s important in that sense too, in addition to being recognized as a diverse and inclusive city that respects others.”

The coordinator of the Executive Coordination of Sexual Diversity (CEDS) of the Municipality of Rio de Janeiro, Carlos Tufvesson, says that he will meet with municipal bodies from different areas to define how public policies will be promoted during the parade.

“I can say that our administration has always seen the Parade as an excellent approximation of the Rio City Hall services to the citizen and citizen present there”, he says, who says that the rapprochement with the parade is part of the resumption of the Rio Sem Preconceito program. “This includes the support and, more than that, the participation of Rio City Hall bodies serving citizens in the Rio LGBT Parade”.

The CEDS coordinator recalls that the LGBTI+ Parade is a time to fight against prejudice and discrimination, and for a more equal country in terms of opportunity for all. “I believe that, as we saw at Rock in Rio, at the Parade we will have the audience back,” he said.

Translated to english by RJ983

From Brazil, by EBC News

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