Weeks ahead of its famous LGBT Pride parade, Brazil struggles with one LGBTI+ killing every 38 hours

By May 22, 2024

São Paulo, Brazil – In 2023, 230 LGBTI+ individuals were violently killed in Brazil, according to data released this month by the Observatory of LGBTI+ Deaths and Violence. This alarming statistic translates to one death every 38 hours.

In 2022, the organization recorded 273 violent deaths, 15.75% more than last year.

However, the actual number of victims could be higher than collected by the Observatory, which suspects underreporting.

“Because the recognition of gender identity and sexual orientation of the victims depends on the media reporting the deaths, many cases of violence against LGBTI+ people may be omitted and/or distorted. There is likely a significant underreporting of violent deaths of LGBTI+ individuals in Brazil,” the Observatory stated in its report.

This concern is reinforced by the fact that in many small towns across the country, there is no local media to report potential incidents of violence against LGBTI+ community members, making it impossible to collect data in these locations.

Violence against transgender women stood out. Among those killed in 2023 were 142 transgender women, 59 gay men, 13 transgender men, seven lesbians, eight belonged to other segments, and one non-binary person was killed. The report also revealed that the majority of the victims (120) were between the ages of 20 and 39.

São Paulo is the state with the highest number of murders, with 27; Ceará and Rio de Janeiro each reported 24 violent deaths.

Partial data collected in the first months of 2024 by the Observatory indicate a rise in violence against LGBTI+ individuals in Brazil. In January and February, 61 people were violently killed in the country. If the pace continues, 2024 could record more deaths than the 316 recorded in 2021.

In two weeks, the city of São Paulo will host another edition of its traditional LGBT Pride Parade. Considered one of the largest pro-LGBT events in the world, this year’s parade will focus on the theme: “Enough Negligence and Legislative Regression!” It marks another chapter in the ongoing struggle for rights and protection for the community.

São Paulo LGBT Pride Parade 2023
(Rovena Rosa / Agência Brasil courtesy)