Brazil governor, presidential candidate, comes out as gay

Wed. July 7, 2021 2:43 PM by Gerald Farinas

gov. eduardo leite is running for president of brazil

photo credit // gustavo vara

Gov. Eduardo Leite hopes to take on President Jair Bolsonaro

Gov. Eduardo Leite of Rio Grande do Sul revealed in a broadcast network interview that he is gay. "I have nothing to hide," he expressed as he presses forward with his challenge to become the next president of Brazil.

Leite, 36, would be the first openly gay presidential candidate of a major political party in the Portuguese-speaking South American country. He is a member of the Social Democratic Party (PSDB).

"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," Leite continued on the Conversa com Bial talk show. "I am proud of that."

While Leite admits to having supported Bolsonaro, popularly known as the "Brazilian Trump," the governor has been one of the president's leading critics especially on the issue of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Bolsonaro, who has made countless statements against LGBTQ persons in Brazil and used anti-gay slurs in public speeches, said Leite was using his sexual orientation as a simple showman's gimick and called coming out a "business card" of sorts.

"He cannot impose his lifestyle on others," Bolsonaro chimed in after the revealing interview.

Leite was 33 years old when he was first elected governor of the southern state in 2018. He was mayor from 2013 to 2016. He has been a proponent of regulating Brazil's fast growing corporations and combatting social inequlity in the country.

Brazil is the largest country in South America and all of Latin America. It is the fifth largest country in the world, in terms of size. It is the sixth largest in terms of population. 

The country is a major industrialized country with a modern economy eclipsing most of its South American neighbors. It is the 13th largest economy in the world.

Most Americans recognize one of Brazil's biggest brands, Embraer, which makes America's smaller regional jet airplanes for American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, among others.