Brazilian governor and potential major party presidential candidate Eduardo Leite, a prominent critic of President Jair Bolsonaro, came out as gay in a TV interview. Leite, governor of the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul, would be the first openly gay presidential candidate in Brazil. Anti-gay rhetoric has been a staple of speeches by Bolsonaro, who once declared that if he had a gay son, he would rather the child died in an accident. “I have never spoken about a subject related to my private life,” Leite told Brazilian journalist Pedro Bial in a TV interview on Thursday evening. “But during this moment of low integrity in Brazil, I have nothing to hide, I am gay. I am a governor who is gay, not a gay governor, as former President Obama in the US was a president who was Black, not a Black president. And I am proud of that.” Bolsonaro has called himself a “proud homophobe” and throughout his three decades in Brazilian politics he has bashed the LGBTQ community, denying accounts of increased violence calling them “sob stories”. In a 2013 interview, he said homosexuals recruit heterosexual children to fulfil their sexual desires and “no father would ever take pride in having a gay son”. Leite tweeted his thanks to so many who had reached out to him after his announcement, with “messages of care and support” which “make me absolutely sure: love will conquer hate”.
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