Millions turn out for 19th Sao Paulo Gay Pride


An estimated two million people took part on Sunday (Pic: APOGLBT / Facebook)

The world’s biggest LGBT Pride parade saw an estimated two million people taking to the streets of downtown Sao Paulo on Sunday.

Hundreds of thousands marched and danced along Paulista Avenue, the city’s main thoroughfare, marking this year’s theme of: “I was born this way, I grew up so I will always be like this: respect me.”

The huge crowds thronged around 20 themed floats while many held up rainbow flags and signs demanding LGBT equality in Brazil.

First held in 1997, Sao Paulo Pride has grown from around 2,000 participants to become the largest LGBT event in the world, with up to five million revellers.

The parade is well supported by the authorities and brings around 400,000 tourists to the city.

Organisers, the Association of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Pride of Sao Paulo (APOGLBT), thanked all those who took part on Sunday but noted that the conclusion of the celebration was also the “start of another year of struggle.”

While LGBT Brazilians have many rights, including marriage equality and adoption by gays and lesbians, the community continues to face some of the highest levels of violence in the world.

According to local LGBT rights group, Gay Group of Bahia, 326 LGBT people were murdered in Brazil last year; almost one person a day.

Transgender women in particular bear the brunt of much of the violence.

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