A Queer Walk in a Queer City

Thiago Carrapatoso
March 17, 2016

São 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 Praça da República, 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’s 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 Educação Patrimonial (Paulista Network for Heritage Education), an organization that has created a collaborative inventory of the communities that live close to the Minhocão 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 “Cidade Queer / Queer City” cycle of activities, Paulo conducted “A walk in the center”, sharing his love affairs and some of the theories published in that time, such as Susan Sontag’s 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 São Paulo.

4 thoughts on “A Queer Walk in a Queer City

  1. Pingback: Lanchonete

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More Content...

Tomson Highway and the many languages

Tomson Highway, Gatineau, Canada 

Tomson Highway (Cree/Dene) enjoys an international career as playwright, novelist, and pianist/songwriter, widely known for his plays The Rez Sisters, Dry Lips Oughta Move To Kapuskasing, Rose, Ernestine Sushwap Gets Her Trout, and the best-selling novel Kiss of the Fur...

We Liked the Way He Moved: A Presentation at the International AIDS Conference

Patrick "Pato" Hebert, New York City & Los Angeles, United States 
Ajamu, London, United Kingdom 

Durban, South Africa, July 16, 2016 This year, London-based artist, archivist, and curator Ajamu and New York and Los Angeles-based artist, educator, and organizer Pato Hebert collaborated on a series of activities at the International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa. On 16 July, 2016...

Imagining Futures: A Conversation on Indigenous Knowledge

Shawn Van Sluys, Guelph, Canada 
Wanda Nanibush, Christian Island, Canada 
Adrian Stimson, Siksika (Blackfoot) Nation, Canada 
Tim Lilburn, Victoria, Canada 
Philip Kevin Paul, W̱SÁNEĆ Nation, Canada 

Spur Guelph, a festival of art, politics, and ideas was convened in November 2015. As part of the festival, the Imagining Futures conversation focused on the possibility of futures that draw from Indigenous and artistic ways of knowing and shaping the world....

2015 Guelph Lecture: Lee Maracle on art & life; Jaron Lanier on technology

Lee Maracle, Toronto, Canada 
Jaron Lanier, San Francisco, United States 

The Guelph Lecture—On Being Canadian continues to broaden the scope and number of voices that promote and foster public dialogue on, and greater understanding of, ideas and issues of concern to Canadians. Each year the Guelph Lecture brings together a...