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04th Jul 2021

Brazilian presidential hopeful Eduardo Leite comes out as gay during historic TV interview

Kieran Galpin

He could become the first gay president in Brazil’s history

Potential presidential candidate Eduardo Leite has made history, not just for Brazil but also the world when he came out publicly on TV.

Leite is up against reigning president Jair Bolsonaro, who has referred to himself in the past as a “proud homophobe”.

In an interview with journalist Pedro Bial, Leite confessed his sexuality and stated he has “nothing to hide.”

“I have never spoken about a subject related to my private life,” he said.

“But during this moment of low integrity in Brazil, I have nothing to hide, I am gay. I am a governor who is gay, not a gay governor.

“As former President Obama in the U.S. was a president who was Black, not a Black president. And I am proud of that.”

Leite’s candidacy could be a monumental threat to Bolsonaro, whose handling of the pandemic has caused his popularity to plummet.

Thousands are protesting in the country’s capital Rio de Janeiro, and calls for impeachment are heating up in response to allegations that his administration has been illegally profiteering from the sale of vaccinations.

In response to Leite’s coming out, current President Bolonsaro said it was his “business card” for the campaign and insisted, “I have nothing against his private life, but he cannot impose his lifestyle on others.”

This will be unsurprising to anyone familiar with Bolonsaro’s attitudes towards gay people. In 2011, he told Playboy that he would be “incapable” of loving a gay son and that he would rather “die in an accident”. The list goes on and on for the self-proclaimed “proud homophobe”, and yet, the country as a whole is one of the most accepting places for Queer people in the world.

Eduardo Leite has been largely congratulated on his public announcement. Though Pride may be over for the year, Leite demonstrates that every day is pride if you make it so.