A 22-year-old gay man was gang raped and tortured in Florianópolis, Brazil on May 31, 2021. The  three attackers used sharp objects, forced him to carve homophobic slurs into his legs and left him on the street. The survivor was  found later taken to hospital and is now recovering at home. 

Chief of Police, Verdi Furlanetto, told The Guardian that the incident was being investigated but no arrests have been made. 

RESPONSE TO THE ATTACK

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LGBTQI+ activists have said that the brutal attack is symptomatic of the culture of homophobia that had been fostered and enabled by the political class, starting with President Jair Bolsonaro who famously  said, “I would be incapable of loving a gay son. I prefer that he die in an accident.” 

The latest attack comes a month after a 25-year-old teacher and LGBTQI+ activist, Professor Lindolfo Kosmaski,  was found shot and burnt alive in his car in São João do Triunfo in the southern region of Brazil on April 30.

Lirous Ávila, President of The Association in Defence of Human Rights helps those facing violence in Florianópolis and is currently supporting the victim. 

“This is a frightening crime but it’s very common in Brazil, and violence – not only against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people but also women, black people and immigrants – is worsening,” Ávila told The Guardian

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On social media, one 22-year-old gay man tweeted “A 22 year old boy was raped, tortured and tattooed with homophobic words here in Florianopolis and few people are talking about it. He is 22 years old and was raped for being gay… guys, 22 years old… he’s a person my age, in my city, like, it could be me.” 

Journalist, Cecília Olliveira tweeted, “Savagery. Sad. Heartbreaking. “the victim was forced to write homophobic words on the body, with sharp objects so that they would leave scars”.

BRAZIL LGBTQ+ HATE CRIMES

Brazil is one of the most dangerous places for violence against LGBTQIA+ people in the world. In 2020, Grupo Gay da Bahia, Latin America’s oldest LGBTQ+ rights organisation revealed that 237 LGBTQ+ people had died in violent incidents, including 224 murders and 13 suicides, with gay men being 22% of the victims. 

Same-sex marriage has been legal in Brazil since 2013, and Bolsonaro has denied that LGBTQ+ hate crimes occur in Brazil, saying “there is no homophobic behaviour in Brazil.” 

Professor Luiz Mott, founder of Grupo Gay da Bahia believes the 28% increase in homophobic attacks compared to previous years is due to the rise of Bolosominion, those in Brazil with extreme right-wing views. 

Mott said, “(…) persistent homophobic speech of the President of the Republic, and, above all, the terrifying messages of the ‘Blosominions’ on social networks on a daily basis, lead the LGBT community to be more cautious, to avoid the risk  of being the next victim.” 

 

If you feel distressed reading the story, you can reach out to support services.

For 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14

For Australia-wide LGBTQI peer support call QLife on 1800 184 527 or webchat.

 

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