Spanish newspaper El Mundo says Portugal is a “safe haven” for the Brazilian LGBTI community.
The Spanish newspaper El Mundo published an article this Monday in which it reveals that since Jair Bolsonaro was elected, Portugal has become a port of refuge for the LGBTI community that fled Brazil because of homophobic attacks.
The newspaper begins by telling the story of Ariadna Seixas, a transsexual woman who decided to flee Florianópolis due to constant death threats.
The Brazilian says she owned a café in the city and that, for years, never had problems with anyone. However, in the weeks leading up to the elections, as Jair Bolsonaro’s chances of assuming the presidency of Brazil increased, she and her husband began to be threatened on social networks.
“They called us perverts, they said they were going to kill us,” he recalls. The couple still tried to ignore the insults, but the day after Bolsonaro’s victory, a group of people invaded the establishment, stole everything they had of value and destroyed the rest.
“It was obvious to us that the attack was connected to our choice. Bolsonaro says that LGBTI people represent a danger to Brazil. His election gave legitimacy to hatred without remorse. Some gay friends were attacked on the street and some transsexuals were even in other cities. The assault we suffered was terrible, but when compared with these barbarities, we were lucky, “says the Brazilian to the Spanish publication.
At that time Ariadna realized that if she did not leave Brazil, she was dead and began to seek exile. He even thought about going to Canada, but when he came across Facebook page Portugay Tropical, which is run by Brazilians who settled in Portugal, he decided to ask for help. Sometime later, with the help of this organization, which has social workers and psychologists, the couple obtained a temporary visa.
In January they settled in Porto where they are happy. “It is a relief to live in a place where we can walk the streets without fear,” said the Brazilian. The couple is now looking for a way to stay in Portugal in the long run because it is not easy to get more than a temporary visa.
The case of Ariadna and her husband is only one among hundreds of LGBTI Brazilians who, according to El Mundo, have chosen Portugal as a refuge after suffering homophobic attacks.
Brazil is the country in the world where more LGBTI people are murdered. According to the NGO Gay Group of Bahia, between 2011 and 2018, there were 4,422 homicides with homophobic intentions in Brazil.
A trend that will have increased, the second half of 2018, after the election of Bolsonaro, who admitted to being “proudly homophobic” and who preferred that a child of his died to be gay.