The Brazilian Way by Alekssandra Ceciliato

"Ladies and Gentleman welcome to the gay parade Sao Paulo Brazil 2003 - Come and discover Brazil Travel with us in this unique moment of luxury, glamour, glory and the joy of a social class, that although repressed, are still happy".

The San Paulo event each year marks our presence throughout the world, with achievements and victories leaves us feeling proud of ourselves. Every day that goes by we keep conquering our universal territory and of course our place in the sun.

"Ladies and Gentleman, I, Alekssandra Ceciliato, have come directly from London. I bring our bible ‘The Tranny Guide’ and I will take back for you a little bit of the gay parade in Sao Paulo for the 12th ‘Tranny Guide’ with wonderful photos full of beauty, of a gay population that can express their feelings and frustrations without losing the humour and the happiness of living".

Another annual Gay parade in Sao Paulo has ended, and we are already missing it and full of hope for the year to come so we can have another wonderful day like we did in 2003. We hope that 2004 will be even more than perfect.

The gay parade has a different theme every year and this year the theme was….. Building up Homosexual Politics

In Brazil the first gay protests started at the end of the 70’s in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo with the support of the newspaper ‘Lampiao D'Esquina’ and the group ‘Somos’. From then on in the 80’s and 90’s there were support groups for gays and transgender people all over the country. Happily we see that every year we advance the work of educating the public to have respect for diversity. It has had positive results in irradicating prejudice.

The first Brazilian Gay Parade was in 1996 and in 1997 over 2,000 people turned up. From 1999 it started to be organised by the association of the proud parade LGBT. ( Lesbians Gays Bisexuals Transgender). The movement gets bigger every year in shocking numbers and this year, 2003, we reached one million people.

One million people together ! It was a beautiful sunny Sunday. The march started half an hour late but finally our seventh gay parade was on the streets. This is the biggest event of its kind in Latin America and in second place in the world, losing the first place to San Francisco or maybe Toronto.

The ‘Prefect’ of Sao Paulo marked her presence in one of the floats and she did not complain for a minute, she danced to the sound of the beautifully decorated floats during the whole march. Although she is the Prefect of the biggest Brazilian town, she also sets a good example of being gay and proud because she has a son who she supports and who is a respected artist and assumed gay nationally.

Anyway the Gay Parade was a big success. We hope that our protests will be heard about our decent and respectable society, and that our lives can be seen as normal. We hope that we can be accepted as human beings, capable and responsible, otherwise we will always be the free show to the eyes of the societies spectators....

With the distribution of the prizes for Miss Gay Sao Paulo 2003 the show came to the end. There were two second places. With the most votes the winner was the publics favourite but, believe it or not, she won only by 3 points, it had to be like this! Of course Miss Gay Sao Paulo will now represent her area in Miss Gay Brazil 2003 in Juiz de Fora and our Miss Sao Paulo will be there with us. Me and ‘The Tranny Guide’ will be at that marvellous party, because I, Alekssandra Ceciliato am Brazilian and also a Tranny.

Be it for lack of curiosity or lack of information most people have no idea about the history and grandiosity of the Miss Gay Brazil competition. The birth of this event, in fact like lots of things, happened by coincidence and like the majority of coincidences, we can now call it a great success!!!

The history of Miss Gay Brazil, started in 1977 from a joke, kidding about the contest Miss Brazil for for women. Chiquinho Mota was one of these jokers. He was also an organiser at that time of the samba school ‘Juventude Imperial,’ ("Imperial youth"), which was situated in a small town in the interior of Minas Gerais. The school was having a financial crisis and to help raise funds he decided to have a party where the principal attraction was an “alternative” Miss Brazil contest.

The event was an enormous success and started to happen every year always in the month of August. The first three contests in 1977, 1978 and 1979 connected to a samba school had carnival mixed with transformation.

People would not want a particular area to win even if they were not from the same area; they wanted all areas of Brazil to be represented.. However their favourite samba schools all from Juiz de Fora, the town where Miss Gay Brazil was born!!

In the eighties the rules for the contest were created - Transgender people with implants could not participate, any participant who had breast implants and won would lose the title from the contest, that’s if someone could prove it!!

After the prestige of Miss Gay Brazil was recognised, through the years the contest started to happen in other areas. Originally the contestants after winning in their own area would go onto the main contest to try to win.

In 1999 for example Miss Rondona, sent in her application which was free of charge, in accordance with the organisers of Miss Gay Brazil contest. (They do not charge any extras because all contestants have to pay high costs for travelling, clothes, accessories and staying, etc).

As the years went by the contest became so respected that big celebrities from the music business, politics and TV agreed to form the jury.

The event now takes place every year in August and is now as well respected as the original Miss Brazil contest for gender born women. For one week in August the little tranquil town called Juiz de Fora is turned into a real carnival, with all the hotels fully booked for that week, (the more experienced usually book their hotels 3 – 4 months in advance). The little town stops, with thousands of people in the streets all together to enjoy the event of the year.

As soon as the contestants enter the finals all of their efforts are doubled or tripled. Their efforts are noticed by the organisers and other contestants. They have to make sure that everything is correct at the rehearsal to make sure that on the day of the big contest things will be as perfect as possible...

The Miss Gay Brazil contest is always on a Saturday, followed by an invitation for a social lunch on Sunday.

A wonderful Feijoada "Bean Stew" is served with great music. It doesn’t matter if it is Axe music, Pagode music or any type of Brazilian music, because what Brazilians really like is a good Feijoada, samba and then drinking the traditional drink known by the name of Caipirinha. It is made with Cachaca, "Fire Water" lemon, sugar and lots of ice.

The event has become very competitive and very expensive; probably the most expensive event of it’s kind because of all the fantasy clothes, accessories, travelling and accommodation and everything. but it is all SO worth it to be part of such a great event.

Miss Gay Sao Paulo as other contests of the same kind makes the heart of the candidates race a bit faster every time the contest is about to start. They will get recognition for the final and one of them will become Miss Gay Brazil 2003.

The house where the event took place is called ‘Planet G’, and is situated in rua ‘Rego Freitas’ one of the most well known streets on the old centre of Sao Paulo. One hour before the big party started the venue was already very full.

As soon as I could get in I went straight to the changing rooms to talk to the contestants and take some photos for ‘The Tranny Guide’. When I got there I saw three beautiful candidates and when I looked around I realised that choosing the candidate would be a hard job for the judges thoroughly selected by the organisers Bruno and Michelle X, (Miss Gay Brazil 2000).. Amongst this years judges were Miss Gay Brazil 2002, and Miss Gay Sao Paulo 2002, celebrities, and organisers of the Paulistan Night. Two of the judges was none other than the actual mainstream contest winners Miss Sao Paulo 2003 (born gender woman), and Miss Acre 2003 (also born gender woman).

I could see that the audience were very impatient, and of course the contest was a few minutes late to start. As soon as the contest started and the stairs on the big stage came down and nobody else apart from the most qualified and remarkable presenters for this wonderful night appeared. Silvetty Montilla (who has performed in London at our beloved WayOut Club, on her journey to Europe in 2002). Silvetty was joined by the other big star for the night, Greta Star. With her long black hair and her remarkable glamourous, presence on stage, we could not stop the wonderful millions of remarks to her. Her personality shows us her internal light, beauty and love, which she has shared with us for the last 20 years on Brazilian stages.

The night was full of different emotions, celebrations and special presentations. The most remarkable celebration was for an ex colleague of mine who had a big personality, who unfortunately is not with us anymore, but will always be remembered by all of the people who loved her.

The evening dress show started, it was the event most waited for. The enjoyment was enhanced by the wonderful lighting work that follows in detail each step that the candidates takes. The perfection of each dress, looking like they had been designed by God. With every single detail perfect to the millimetre.

At the end of the wonderful, luxurious and feminine, ‘evening dress’ show, started the big final where the public were already screaming and totally divided supporting their candidates. The judges could not be indifferent in the presence of so much beauty, and as each candidate passed by, the more difficult it became for the judges to make a decision. Even the (gender born woman) Miss Sao Paulo 2003 said that she had never seen to a show like this - the glitter, love and competition and especially the detailed organisation by the organisers Bruno and Michelle X.