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Brazil's President Bolsonaro tweets explicit video of two men at Carnival in latest attack on LGBTQ people

The far-right leader's latest stunt is designed to divide the country and whip up a moral panic against the community.

2019-03-07

Words: Will Stroude

Brazil's far-right President Jair Bolsonaro has sparked a fresh wave of controversy after sharing an explicit video of two men at Carnival.

The Brazilian leader, who has a long and well-documented history of homophobic and racist remarks, tweeted the video of two men engaging in sexual acts on Wednesday (5 March) in a fresh attempt to whip up a moral panic against the LGBTQ community.

The video, which remains on Bolsonaro's Twitter feed, shows two men dancing on top of a taxi shelter during a street party at Carnival on Monday (4 March).

One of the men, dressed in a jock-strap, penetrates himself in front of the crowd before another man urinates on him.

Sharing the video with his 3.5 million followers, Bolsonaro wrote that he wanted to "expose the truth" about Carnival celebrations, which are held across Brazil to mark the bgeinning of Lent and often have a large and visible LGBTQ presence. 

"I don't feel comfortable showing it, but we have to expose the truth so the population are aware," he wrote.

"This is what many street parties in the Brazilian Carnival have turned into. Comment and reach your own conclusions."

The 63-year-old later tweeted: "What is a golden shower?"

The video in question had already sparked controversy after being widely shared social media this week, Brazil's Folha de S.Paulo newspaper reports. 

The publication added that witnesses described the men's conduct as an isolated incident - not that that matters to Bolsonaro, who once declared: “I’m homophobic, with pride."

The former military officer and Social Liberal Party leader, who was elected to the Presidency in October, previously said he would "beat up" a gay couple if he saw them kissing in the street, and has made a series of racist and misogynisitc statements, including that he doesn't "run [the] risk" of his sons marrying black women because his offspring are "very well educated".

The latest stunt had the desired effect, dividing Brazilians down the middle as opponents denounced the President with the hashtag #EiBolsonaroVaiTomarNoCu - which roughly ranslates as '#GetScrewedBolsonaro' - and firing up conservative supporters who began tweeting the hashtag #BolsonaroTemRazao, or "Bolsonaro is right."

Brazil has a long an rich LGBTQ history, and in 2013 became the third country in South American to legalise equal marriage nationwide.

 

However, in a country where strong conservative and religious influence remain, LGBTQ Brazilians remain at a high risk of violence and persucution in many areas.

We recently met members of Brazil's LGBTQ community to discuss their fears for the future following Bolsonaro's election - click here for more.