June 4, 2018 at 4:31 pm EDT | by Felipe Alface
More than 2 million attend São Paulo Pride parade

More than 2 million people attended São Paulo’s annual Pride parade on June 3, 2018. (Photo by Felipe Alface)

SÃO PAULO — More than two million people attended São Paulo’s annual Pride parade that took place on Sunday.

The theme for this year’s parade was “Elections: Our vote, our voice. Power to LGBTIQ+ people.”

Continuing the tradition of recent years, Pride in São Paulo started a week before Sunday’s parade.

Pride in São Paulo first took place 22 years ago, but this year’s celebration was the most political. Since this year’s Pride’s celebrations began, it was clear the importance of this electoral year for LGBTIQ people all over Brazil would be the main focus.

One of the first personalities to take the stage and speak to the crowd gathered on Paulista Avenue was presidential candidate and known LGBTIQ supporter Manuela d’Ávila. Mônica Tereza Benício, the widow of Rio de Janeiro Councilwoman Marielle Franco, a bisexual human rights activist who was murdered earlier this year, then spoke.

Benício said it is especially important to know for whom to vote this year and know that taking to the streets for Pride is an act of political resistance since Brazil is still the country with the highest rates of murders of LGBTIQ people in the world.

As Pride kept going it was time for Pabllo Vittar, a drag queen and pop singer who was a crowd favorite, to take the stage.

The audience sang her songs. Vittar’s costume — a suit with headlines about anti-gay crimes and a red inscription with the slogan, “Stop killing us,” — was a political statement itself.

Uber-sponsored trans singer and songwriter Liniker, drag queen Lia Clark, bisexual singer Preta Gil and “RuPaul’s Drag Race” contestant April Carrion also took part in Pride. Skol-sponsored Anitta, another popular pop band.

São Paulo’s Pride parade, which is the biggest in Brazil, is also one of the world’s largest.

Upwards of 4 million people attended São Paulo’s Pride parade in 2011. SPTuris, the state tourism company, estimates Pride is the city’s most important tourism attraction.

One of the organizations that took part in Pride was the Angels Volley volleyball team.

The team hosted an event a few hours prior to the beginning of the parade to raise awareness of the team and to defend LGBTIQ inclusion in sports.

Angels Volley is currently searching for sponsors to represent Brazil in this year’s Gay Games in Paris. Tifanny Abreu, the first trans person to play professional volleyball in the Brazilian League, attended the team’s Pride event and expressed support for their efforts.

Rio de Janeiro Councilwoman Marielle Franco and her driver were murdered in their car on March 14. Franco’s widow, Mônica Tereza Benício, spoke at São Paulo’s annual Pride parade on June 3, 2018. (Photo courtesy of Facebook)

Felipe Alface is a Brazilian author of the novel "Cicatrizes e Tatuagens" ("Scars and Tattoos") and digital content specialist.

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