GayCities travel website is warning LGBTQ+ tourists to exercise extra caution if traveling to Brazil. According to the website, there is an extremely high rate of violence against LGBTQ+ people in the country. There has been more than one murder every day in Brazil because of sexual identity – 445 people were murdered in 2017 because of their LGBTQ+ orientation. The following year, more than 160 transgender people were murdered.
The most high-profile killing of an LGBTQ+ person in Brazil was Marielle Franco, a city councilwoman in Rio de Janeiro and a lesbian feminist and human rights advocate. Marielle was gunned down in a drive-by shooting in 2018 after calling attention to the death of Matheus Melo Castro, a black man who was gunned down by police at a security checkpoint.
Brazil’s President, Jair Bolsonaro, has done little to address the extreme rates of violence the country’s LGBTQ+ community suffers every day. Instead he is actually fueling this hate. Prior to taking office in January, Bolsonaro claimed he would rather have a dead son than a gay one adding he would beat a same-sex couple if he saw them kissing. The President warned his country to do what it takes to ensure Brazil doesn’t become a “gay tourism paradise.”
Brazil is just the number one country LGBTQ+ people should be wary of traveling. Also right up there is Egypt, Tanzania. In Egypt, more than 57 people were arrested in an anti-LGBTQ+ crackdown in 2017. In Tanzania, its capital of Dar Es Salaam launched a surveillance squad last year to identify and apprehend people suspected to be LGBTQ+.
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