November 01, 2006
Another Rio gay-bashing?
Posted by: Chris
At this point the report is secondhand, but I was told by a gay American living here in Rio De Janeiro that there was a gay-bashing Sunday night in Ipanema. According to the account, a gay man was sitting inside Bar Bofetada (which means "slap" in Portuguese) when he looked at a man on the sidewalk outside.
Bar Bofetada is located on Rua Farme de Amoedo, the "gay street" leading to the "gay beach" in Ipanema (and is visible in this picture from a few months ago, if you can ignore the cheesecake in the foreground.)
The man on the sidewalk apparently thought he was being cruised and went a few doors down to a bar, recruited three friends, and returned to Bofetada to drag the gay man into the street, where he was cut in the face with a broken bottle and beaten up pretty severely. The crowd at Bofetada apparently cleared out as a result of the attack, heading to another gay bar a few blocks away for refuge.
The victim reportedly left the scene without calling the police, who are not exactly well-known for protecting gays from bashers. Back in March, during Carnival, a gay couple were attacked by five men for the crime of kissing on the gay section of the beach in Ipanema, at the end of Rua Farme de Amoedo. Police showed up, interviewed the agressors, and let them go, according to media accounts posted by gay blogger Juliano over at MadeInBrazil. Only after protests were the bashers arrested.
Bashings can happen anywhere, even places well-known for being gay-friendly, but they are a reminder that with progress (legal, political, social and otherwise) inevitably comes backlash. The important thing is not to intimidated back into the closet.
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