Gay Travel in Sao Paulo Brazil…Biggest Gay Pride in the World June 3 – 7 2010
It doesn’t matter what you like, São Paulo is big enough to welcome every kind of people and she really does it with a wide-ranging of entertainment options. The largest city in Latin America and the fourth in the world, it is the cosmopolitan center of Brazil, from where all innovations and ideas are spread to the rest of the country. For that reason, the government and private institutions give some support to sexual, and also religious, ethnical and cultural diversity. Welcome to the heart of Brazil, welcome to the city that never sleeps, at least she does not do it alone, did you get it?
Through the blood vessels of this heart which carries all the Brazilian diversity with a social seasoning of foreigners from all over the world who come to the city for different reasons, and are able to realize the Brazilian receptive way and in addition, the importance of treating everybody well on a globalized world. The city has over 17 thousand kilometers of streets and avenues where there is a flow of 3.5 million people every day. The city looks like a worldwide metropolis and is part of a circuit which includes London, Paris, New York, Tokyo and Berlin due to the fact of being a cultural melting pot.
Important museums are located in the city and there are ten of them in Ibirapuera Park . Such museums are seen as significant spaces to divulgate arts and cultural production, e.g, Modern Arts Museum (MAM), Afro-Brazilian Museum, Contemporary Arts Museum and Astronomical Observation Planetarium. MASP, São Paulo Arts Museum, is one of the main museums of the city and the country, located on Paulista Avenue, it is a rendezvouz spot of musicians, poets, dancers, writers, actors and actresses and all kind of people as many as its free space can shelter.
Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo is a prominent headquarters of arts, located in the surroundings of Luz Station and a venue of great exhibitions such as Tarsila do Amaral, Henri Matisse. Estação Pinacoteca, close to the main Pinacoteca building, hosts an Andy Warhol exhibiton until the end of May, his largest exhibition in Latin America. Across the street you have the Portuguese Language Museum, information center of Brazil’s mother tongue and a place of Brazilian writers and poets exhibitions who contributed to what is so called Brazilian Portuguese nowadays. The masterpieces are presented in a creative and intriguing way, making use of LED, screens, interactive models placing the audience into them in an updated dynamic.
Its cultural variety can be seen in its many theaters and drama spaces in the city. Being the cradle of the most renowned Brazilian theater groups, such as Centro de Pesquisa Teatral (CPT), Teatro Oficina, Os Satyros, and Parlapatões. The convergence point is Roosevelt square, known as a place where the biggest concentration of theaters per square meter in the city is located. It is a microcosm with its characters, stories, dramas.
GLBT network is in charge of much of the tourist business in the city, mainly during the Pride Parade, which takes place every June on a Sunday after Corpus Christi celebration. That is the second largest event of the city and over R$ 189million are circulated in less than a week, behind the Formula 1 race competition which income is more than R$ 200 million. That is the result of a partnership between government and militancy.
There are over 100 Gay Pride Parades and celebrations each year in Brazil – but the biggest in the WORLD takes place in Sao Paulo June 3rd – 7th, 2010 . (3.1 million people in 2009!)
The whole city supports Gay Pride. Through the Coordenation of Sexual Affairs (CADS), the city hall guarantees R$1 million funds in infrastructure. The state government through the Sexual Diversity Policy Coordenation aids on the structure and schedule carrying out. The Federal government backs up the initiative with a sponsorship of R$ 320 thousand.
The private sector also makes investments due to the income provided by those who take part of the parade and it is not only on the parade week or day, but all over the year. Hotels located on Paulista avenue have an increase of 20% of occupation during the parade, increasing the general occupation to 90%, according to SPTuris. In order to organize all that flow, the city hosts Brazil GLBT Business Chamber, an organization founded to help entrepreneurs make their services and products to GLBT customers better and better, putting up bars, pubs, nightclubs, saunas, restaurants, NGOs and press together. Aiming to offer good service and products, being all set to receive tourists.
When a visitor goes for a tour in the city, he/she can count on a LGBT Tourist Information Center established since the beginning of 2010. The service network includes 17 tourist agencies, a change and exchange office and a gay hotel – the 155, located downtown.
According to SPTuris (São Paulo Tourism Office), the official Tourist Office, during the Parade, around 350 thousand people visit the city – 70% of them come from the state of São Paulo, 25% from other states and 5% are foreigners. They guarantee an income of R$189 million in just a week.
The city watches new ideas in different areas popping up, such as a Brazilian LGBT Sports Committee, in charge of arranging gays, lesbians and transsex volleyball and soccer championships. The organization carried out the first Uniliga with volleyball and indoor soccer matches with the city hall’s support, promising to export the idea to other Brazilian states such as Minas Gerais, Santa Catarina and Rio de Janeiro.
Want to dance?
There are also two GLBT samba schools . One of them is the brand new Monalisa Paulistana that first appeared during 2010 Carnival and aims at a place on the special samba school group. The other one is Arco-Íris, part of the main group and has its show with a lot of transsex, gays and lesbians taking part of it, and also friendly people who love the festival.
Another group which makes the city more exciting is one organized by drag queens from a nightclub called Blue Space , known as the best nightclub for drags’ shows. Every year on São Paulo’s anniversary there is a soccer match on the street – drags X employees of the nightclub, a dispute which has the
objective of making people laugh and strengthen the relationship with the neighborhood.
When traveling to any big city that is strange to you, be cautious and use common sense.
Don’t take the risk of having fake beverage, known as “bebida batizada”. It is better to buy the ones you know with sealed bottles. Buy them at establishments and not from people who sell them on the streets.
Don’t take much money when you leave your hotel and don’t forget your ID. In case you are stolen, the damage will not be that big.
Leave backpacks and purses at home. Only take them if they are really indispensable and keep on the front of your body in order to watch them.
Brazil has a hot weather, so use light clothing.
Prefer to be with a group of people. Bad intentioned actions may be avoided. The hint is also worthwhile if you want to take shots or record something. Be careful with your electronic devices.
If you have any unpleasant problem, call the Police. They are able to protect you and give you some advice on what to do.
The subway (Metrô) is the safest means of transportation. Buy your tickets in advance in order not to handle money many times.
If you drive somewhere, give preference to park in private parking lots. Car keepers on the street are not reliable.
Keep your wallet into a pocket or in a difficult place to be found.
Pay attention when using the cell phone. Most cases of robbery occur when a person is making use of a cell phone.
Be careful with beggars on the streets asking for help or talking about some of their diseases.
São Paulo has an excellent gay life. Over 40 bars, clubs and saunas.
Please note, that some saunas are frequented by rent boys so agree a price before you have fun.
Play Safe! Wear condoms!
Thanks to Alex Bernades of Revista Via G Magazine in Brazil,
our Guest Author and Travel Partner this month!