I have not been to Brazil, but I feel that I have because I have so many friends that go and I read a lot about Brazil. One day when I have more than 2 pesos to rub together I have to go.
My friend, Laurence Pinckney, just got back from Brazil with some friends. He was there to do some research on an event he wants to give there next year for Bahia Gay Pride (September 2006). This year's Gay Pride celebrations were attended by over 80,000 people.
(Photo, from left: James Saunders, event planner, party promoter, and founder of Black Pride NYC; Fernando Bingre, professional guide based in Bahia, who speaks several languages; Laurence Pinckney, event planner, marketing consultant, real estate); and Marcelo Cerqueira, founder of Grupo Gay de Bahia, and director of this year's Bahia Gay Pride celebrations.)
Laurence, with the help of James, Fernando and Marcelo, hope to put together an event to entice American Gay visitors to come down en masse for next year's celebrations.
Grupo Gay de Bahia is the oldest gay organization in Brazil. The have increased awareness of Gay/Lesbian/Transgender issues throughout Brazil. Fernando Bingre is someone I have watched with pride as he began his business, and now he is very successful and still one of the nicest people you want to meet. If you want to travel to Bahia, he is the person to know. He even has contacts in Rio and other parts of the country.
I have put some of the photos Laurence sent me at the top of the this entry, but if you want to see all that he has posted, click here.
(Note: Click here for more information on Salvador and to read an interview with Marcelo Cerqueira. Thanks for the information John!)