*Worded content trigger warning*
If there was ever a tragic example of just how important yesterday’s International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia is, then we are sad to report this is it, just the very next day.
Reports are coming in that a teacher by the name of Lindolfo Komanski, 25, has been murdered in Brazil in what locals are calling a hate crime. Prof. Komanski’s charred remains were found by the São João do Triunfo Highway after he had been shot twice in his car after leaving a bar and both his car and body were set on fire.
The depravity and cowardice of this murder harks immediately back to last week’s beheading of 20-year old gay man Alireza Fazeli Monafred in Iran. Young men simply living their lives peacefully only to have them brutally cut short because of their sexuality.
In fact, Lindolfo was also an advocate for social justice and land reform, having been active with Brazil’s Landless Workers Movement (MST) who said of him ‘He was a person known for affection and care; with a frank smile and an open heart, with a cheerful look, that captivate hugs and love.’
Despite having some of the most progressive laws for LGBTQ+ people in South America, Brazil also has one of the highest murder rates for LGBTQ+ people in the world. Unfortunately when the president is an outspoken homophobe like Jair Bolsanaro, it certainly only makes things worse. Only last year he reportedly said that masks in a pandemic were ‘for fairies’. FFS. Face plant emoji.
Every single time we hear a story like this our heart may break but it strengthens our resolve. As we said yesterday, until we are all safe, none of us are safe. There is a dark underbelly of homophobia in Brazil, only spurred on by the rhetoric of its far right president. Another example of why Pride is SO important and why the murder of proud gay men like Lindolfo Komanski will not be forgotten.