A Queer Walk in a Queer City

Thiago Carrapatoso
March 17, 2016

S√£o Paulo is a remarkable city, and its center has a strong history of being a refuge for the LGBT+ community despite mainstream Brazilian culture’s bias toward being extremely patriarchal and severely segregated. The city’s marginal communities are often relegated to neighborhoods on the outskirts, places the white elite can easily avoid.

Since the post-war era, the center of the city, the area where most cultural activities like cinema, bars, and libraries were, sheltered the LGBT+ community. The two most important landmarks in this history may be the Largo do Arouche and Pra√ßa da Rep√ļblica, the former being the place for rich, white gay men; the latter for male prostitutes, transvestites, and poorer gays. And both being a place to gather and find most of the city‚Äôs intellectuals participating in the vibrant nightlife of that time.

The problem is that this history is commonly forgotten and misunderstood even though it is still possible to see the community expressing itself freely in these areas — in a different way from the 1950s and the 1960s — but it is hard to understand why they gather in that specific place.

Because of my work with Rede Paulista de Educa√ß√£o Patrimonial (Paulista Network for Heritage Education), an organization that has created a collaborative inventory of the communities that live close to the Minhoc√£o viaduct that crosses the center, I along with my colleagues became increasingly concerned about how Brazilians learn about this history.¬† How do we remind ourselves and other people of the genesis of this social use of territory? For this reason, we invited the actor Paulo Goya, who experienced the place mainly during the 1960s, to share his memories and explain a little more about the dynamic of the area. As part of the ‚ÄúCidade Queer / Queer City‚ÄĚ cycle of activities, Paulo conducted ‚ÄúA walk in the center‚ÄĚ, sharing his love affairs and some of the theories published in that time, such as Susan Sontag‚Äôs essay “Notes on Camp.”

The walk lasted almost three hours, but you can see a small teaser about it in the video below.


A Queer Walk in a Queer City

Thiago Carrapatoso

Thiago Carrapatoso is a journalist and specialist in communication, arts, and technology. He works in helping to create a methodology for using heritage education against gentrification in S√£o Paulo.

More Content...

SOY PAISAJE (I AM LANDSCAPE)

Eduardo Carrera, Quito, Ecuador 

A map of the world that does not include Utopia is not even worth glancing at. РOscar Wilde[1]Since 2013, artists and activists have been invited to participate in an arts showcase as part of the cultural activities during the LGBTIQ+...

Human Relationships as Land Ethic

Jeannette Armstrong, Okanagan, Canada 

On January 20th Jeannette Armstrong delivered the 2017 Guelph Lecture on Being Canadian, presented here in its entirety. This annual lecture is part of the ArtsEverywhere Festival, a festival of ideas that combines music, art, and conversation to illuminate pressing...

Looking for Lesbians

Niki Singleton, New York City, United States 

A collection of essays, artistic contributions, and two inserted zines, Queer City, a reader was developed as part of an 18-month inquiry in S√£o Paulo. Initiated by Lanchonete.org and ArtsEverywhere/Musagetes, the Queer City program was a broad collective inquiry into...

We Three Queens

Mike Young, Toronto, Canada 
Gary Lee Pelletier, Toronto, Canada 

This article was first published in Guts ‚ÄĒ Canadian Feminist Magazine. Michael and Gary’s experience living with¬†Michael’s¬†grandmother has inspired a web series entitled We Three Queens¬†written by Michael and directed by Tom Cable Rees.¬†Read on to view the trailer. We...