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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Embarrassing Things That Make Me Cry #4

Brazil Next?

In light of Argentina’s decision to endorse marriage equality with public support over 70%, I’ve been thinking a lot about the future of South America.

argentina-marriage-equality

Although I earned a minor in Latin American Studies, I haven’t kept up much on the politics. That said, I came across a video that got me thinking about my mission. I had never thought about it in terms of sexuality, but Brazil is truly the most beautifully diverse place I’ve ever known.

If there’s one thing you need to know about Brazil is that it has a tri-racial culture. In overly simple terms, it is the embodiment of three continents in one—the European settlers, the African slaves (easily outnumbering the slaves imported to what became the US), and the Native Americans.

Although racism does exist, the ideal of coexistence and coalescence of these three cultures over the course of 500 years has arguably been an ideal much longer than the melting pot idea in the US. Having lived in Brazil and Chile, I found that a major difference between the two cultures is the role of race.

brazil-gay-rally Chilean natives Americans are almost treated as a subculture while Brazilians tend to recognize the natives cultures as a significant (and living) part of the past. I think this type of awareness makes the idea of homosexuality much more understandable as there is an innate sense of diversity and acceptance thereof built into the culture. I would argue that to a limited extent this is what drove the Argentine debate culminating in equality.

Seeing this video (which brought tears to my eyes having served an LDS mission in Brazil) and reading that the level of support in Brazil is at a similar level to that of Argentina on Queerty, lead me to believe that equality in my second homeland may be much closer than I’d thought.

7 comments:

Chel Rae @ Eu Te Amo said...

This is awesome!

Mister Curie said...

Yeah, and seeing "Beyond Gay" made me realize that equality in my second homeland of Russia is much further from reality than I thought.

robert said...

It is great news indeed. Currently back in Vietnam as I wander further into the countryside, such a reality here seems distant and awash with cultural constraints. Nonetheless, there is a fluidity in sexual identity which I simply do not see in the west. Same sex marriage would seem an odd concept here but not for the same reasons certain more 'developed' countries might have.

M said...

Hallelujah For Argentina...

mclicious said...

Yeah, I don't know why people think that the United States is so diverse. It might be a diverse place, but it's not a melting pot--it's a boarding house. Brazil really does its diversity in a wonderful way. Not that it doesn't have its problems, but I felt more comfortable there about myself than I have in 22 years in the US. I'd love to go back there in a more intellectual capacity and see if I still felt that way.

BosGuy said...

I go to Brazil regularly and really love the country as well. They have issues of racism - after all people are people. However, I agree with you that the way it manifests is quite different from what you would see here in the US. I wonder how long before Brazil legalizes marriage now? Shame on the US not to be on the forefront of such a relevant human rights issue.

A Gay Mormon Boy said...

@Eu Te Amo: Glad to know you enjoyed it.

@Mister Curie: That was definitely a revealing documentary. I must say that Russia and Brazil did provide an interesting contrast, especially in the directions they seem to be going.

@robert: That is a very interesting thing to consider. I know very little about Vietnam and much of S. East Asia.

@M: Amen!

@mclicious: My experience there was mixed. In a white shirt and tie, I wasn't exactly included, but it was an improvement from the US. Hopefully, I get to go back someday as well.

@BosGuy: Shame on the US is right. I don't think that Brazil is going to vote on this anytime soon, but definitely will before the US. Here's some interesting wiki-reading on how far ahead they are:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recognition_of_same-sex_unions_in_Brazil

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