In the summer of 2011 honors graduate in law, Joshua Eijndhoven, left the Netherlands with his 34 foot sailing yacht to explore the world. In nine months he sailed via the Cape Verde Islands to Brazil. Joshua maintains a blog and writes articles with pictures for this website, the Telegraaf and Zilt magazine.
Rio de Janeiro – gay capital of the World?
Katia flew to Rio in the end of June with a group of gay friends. My friends made
funny jokes whether or not she was going to come back. “Sending your girlfriend to Rio for a week, are you sure you want that? You are sure she will be back?” But she did and above all lightly in shock. Because on the parties she went and the places she came she met a huge amount of gay, lesbian and transsexuals.
Man with Breast
Personally I have been surprised about the many times I was in Salvador standing in line in the supermarket next to man with Breast, long hair and make up – or should I say Woman? And even more surprised I was about the big amount of kissing man when going out. More than I have ever seen, even at a gay parties in the Netherlands. I thought the Netherlands was the most gay friendly country and Amsterdam gay capital of the world?
A wave of criticism
Before Katia went to Rio our gay friends took us out in Salvador. Three young guys, a married young lady and us. Before going out we went to their house for a drink (all ok) and dress up (WTF?). I once read that for woman, half the fun of going out is dressing up before. Well, that accounted for everyone there except for me; shower, change and ready to go within 10 minutes was not hip here. During a two hour make up session I was board and downing beers, only interrupted by a wave of critique on my apparently hopelessly outdated clothes and hair do.
Kissing girls in puberty age
Several months later we are thousands of kilometers more north of Rio and Salvador in a much smaller Brazilian city. We hear that every Saturday on the city square there is live music with Caipirinha and small BBQ’s. When we arrive the square is filled with hetero, gays and lesbians. We see woman shaking buttocks together with gay man; just like in Rio de Janeiro and Salvador. What moves me is when I see two girls of about 15 years, meet each other, kiss and exchange numbers.
Respect and admiration
Puberty is a sensitive time when young people grow their identity one step at a time. The two girls who openly kiss and express their identity in front of their peers from high school show just how deep tolerance for (in Putin’s intolerant words) “nontraditional relationships” really is in Brazil. Katia and me feel a deep respect and admiration for this modern aspect of Brazil. Countries and people around the globe could follow Brazil’s modern example of tolerance. It would make our world a more pleasant home for everyone.