“This is the music they usually play at gay clubs,” my new friend told me while we were passing, in a bouncy, dance-like way, several platforms. “OR…Well, it’s simply what many clubs in Europe play,” I said as we continued our dancing and made our way to one of those platforms. Soon, all of them started moving, and so Salvador Pride 2014 truly began. Greeted by thousands of people, we were dancing and waving to the lovely crowds for several hours.
How did I, a foreigner new to this city, get into the very middle of this parade? Well, luck played a big part here. I had met my new friend just the day before – at a bus stop, on our way to the same festival, where we ended up at the local headquarters of one of the major political parties here (“You would…” Yes). So, I went to Salvador Pride together with him and his uncle’s husband, who happened to be either one of the organisers or their associate. In other words, I was in a good company.
To see that crowd of people pouring into the main streets of Salvador to, to use a standard expression, celebrate diversity, was pretty damn awesome. It will take time – not just time, but a lot of effort by determined people, of course – till such an event takes place in Lithuania, it’s sad yet safe to guess. Or, well, until it is greeted in the same way. In Brazil itself celebrating diversity can’t be accompanied by a celebration of a heterosexism-free society: heterosexism and homophobia still result in some truly appalling crimes, which is what the parade actually aimed to address. “What do these people want, anyway?” some more conservative Lithuanians would ask. I don’t know, man, maybe equal rights and not fearing for your safety? Just an idea.
Salvador Pride was definitely one of the highlights of my first month in Brazil. What else has been happening? I’ve been exploring some beaches and letting people know that I have by posting photos that kinda all look the same (that might not stop, let me warn you), and I even get to run by the main beach as often as my constantly changing schedule allows me. I’ve been also using my unconjugated Portuguese, slowly figuring out which buses NEVER to take, and vaguely planning my future trips (they all, like a true Capitalist fairy-tale, start with a “Once I have money, …”). As for now, I’m just glad I finally made it to the old town to have photos close to the ones on google images but of a shittier quality, inevitably.
But most importantly, I’ve been enjoying – OK, apart from those damn buses and several big bugs in my house – some sweet everyday things. Like the nicest climate I’ve ever happened to live in, beautiful accordion music that I so often hear coming from my neighbour’s place, and even the fact that I saw a tiny monkey (I’m sure there is a more scientific name for it…) running on the electric wires the other day. It’s not a Capitalist fairy-tale (all this CIA-planned military coup for nothing?!) yet, but it’s been quite nice.
Instead of some music video (they will be coming, no worries), here is an honest and powerful speech definitely worth your time: