The paradox of the discussion of tolerance

Image: Raphael Brasileiro


Considerations on the specificity of homophobia in Brazil

In the contemporary world, amid the tree informational arising from the evolution of “hyper capitalism”, one notes, in a way, a greater expression of minority groups in social media exercising their place of speech. The construction of mass and mass communication platforms allows certain points of view to be expressed – from black men and women, indigenous people and the LGBTQIA+ community – that were openly ignored and delegitimized.

However, while this feat benefited such segments of the population, there was an outbreak of conservative groups of a fascist nature, which, supported by a pathetic neo-Pentecostal morality, weave criminal and discriminatory opinions and comments, using social media platforms as a stage for this Dantesque theater of prejudices. Thus, in the midst of the digital age – marked by greater access to information ever witnessed by humanity – the forms of physical and symbolic manifestation of homophobia in Brazil must be discussed and what are the models queer “tolerated” by this sick and hypocritical society.

In the year 2023, with space probes orbiting Mars and the most complex mathematics being developed in research centers, there are still utopian and sometimes absurd discussions about the conservative conception of morality and gender ideology. Many believe that these statements are the result of the 2018 presidential elections, in which a self-declared racist homophobe took over the most important position in the Brazilian nation, but the issue has a much deeper origin in the construction of our country.

The execution of the indigenous Tibira, killed with a cannon shot by European colonizers, commanded by the friar Yves d'Évreux, for being homosexual, highlights not only the macabre and violent past under which Brazil was formed, but also exemplifies the ideological and symbolic nature of the conception of gender. The facts that for the native and his community, the behavior he practiced was completely prosaic and the lack of contact with the culture of the European people and, consequently, of its influence to classify homosexual behavior as demonic, shows that the definitions of gender in different cultures are distinct. Therefore, there is no specific and natural role for a man or a woman in the environment, but social constructions that determine what is or is not tolerated in a given place and at a given time.

From this, we can affirm that homophobia is the result of a misogynistic social and ideological construction, since any and all behavior that distances itself from that which would be developed by a “proper man” is considered wrong or inferior, whether the exercised by women or by members of the LGBT community.

This becomes even clearer from the XNUMXth century onwards, when the character of homosexuality ceased to be of an ontological nature, that is, the performance of sexual activity determines an identity. At this juncture, the gay man is displaced from his biological masculinity to a place where his being is defined solely by the sexual behavior he performs, being marginalized, violated and, sometimes, killed. Thus, to try to be accepted, the individual tries to deny his essence, looking for behaviors that return him to the identity of a man, heteronormative behaviors.

In this way, there are groups queer that are more “accepted/tolerated” than others. These are those who, either by social coercion or by simple will and personality, live under the dogmatic standards established, using a Marxist term, by the superstructure, that is, by the dominant sector of society. Therefore, approaching the conception of the “traditional Brazilian family”, consuming what should be consumed, doing what should be done, dressing the way it is determined. But those who do not fit this pattern, those whose power to live is simply focused on something different are demonized, labeled as promiscuous and deviant, in which the very essence is seen as something to be fought, as well as the individual himself.

It can be seen, therefore, that, despite the lower recurrence of physical manifestations of violence with the groups queer “tolerated”, the symbolic scourge that breaks with the essence and freedom of these individuals directly or indirectly determines their actions, distancing them from their own self or from the possibility of discovering it.

*Pedro Henrique M. Aniceto is studying economics at the Federal University of Juiz de Fora (UFJF).

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