Brazil: Gay and Lesbian
The world's largest country in the tropics
Brazil is becoming ever tolerant of homosexuality and flourishing gay scenes exists in most of the main cities. In 2005 Sao Paulo hosted the Wolds biggest gay pride event with an estimated 2 million marchers! The gay scene is centred in Rio and Sao Paulo where you will find many western style bars, clubs and saunas. There is a great gay section on Ipanema beach in Rio. Cosmopolitan Cariocas are friendly with gays, lesbians and trans-people, making you feel welcome almost everywhere. Language should not be a barrier. Most people you actually have to deal with understand basic English or Spanish. Others will try hard. And body language is universally understood, of course.
The beach is the perfect setting to make new friends, and find out what is going on. Go to Farme Gay in Ipanema, a little to the east of cross-street Farme de Amoedo. This spot attracts local TV stars, gays and lesbians, international celebrities but, most of all, this is Barbie land (Barbie is a term used by locals to describe muscular and well-off gay men who live on the South Side). Don't miss the gay dodge-ball and volleyball matches on Sundays. You will find more ideas of things to do and see at Rio Gay by Day.
Even smaller cities like Salvador have lots going on. There is also a strong culture of transvestism which is an accepted part of Brazilian life. Each year during the Rio Carnival there is the Scala Gay Ball which is a national televised event. Brazil is a fabulous destination for gay tourists to be strongly recommended.