I WAS INVITED to join a group of international LGBT journalists on a trip to Brazil in the early months of 2016. We were the guests of the Brazilian tourism organization, EMBRATUR, and of Brazil Ecojourneys, a tour specialist in southern Brazil and operator of an annual LGBT surf camp. We spent several days in Florianópolis, sampling the local food and culture, and surfing, hiking, and visiting different parts of the region. Afterwards, we flew to Rio.
EXCERPT: Rio de Janeiro Welcomes All Tribes (Curve Magazine)
“Like we say in Brazil, it’s for all tribes.” I’m speaking with lesbian tour guide Polyanna Miranda about Galeria Café. “Just like Rio,” she adds. “Rio is for everyone.” I get where she’s coming from. Everything about the place feels multipurpose and a little improvisational. Take, for example, ‘foot volley’, a hybrid sport that fuses beach volleyball and futebol and endows its players—both male and female—some of the best bodies in the world. And then there’s cachaça. This sugarcane liquor is the main ingredient in the caipirinha, Brazil’s national cocktail, but according to local lore, fishermen have also used it to clean the decks of their boats. Likewise, Galeria Café leads a double life. It’s a coffee shop and art gallery by day but at night it turns into a club known to be GLS, or gay, lesbica, e simpatisante—slang that essentially means “all tribes.” Flexibility, it seems, is a cultural motif in Rio, one that makes the city simultaneously welcoming and difficult to define.
EXCERPT: Catch a Wave at Gay Surf Camp in Southern Brazil (Curve Magazine)
The group’s instructor, Capitão David, runs the oldest surf school in Rosa and he’s taught more than 10,000 people everything from the basics (“You must stand upright, like a king!”) to the advanced art of reading the swells. With instruction and practice over five consecutive days, punctuated by two much-needed yoga sessions, guests get to live the surfing life.
Those unsure about their abilities needn’t worry, either. “Surfing’s not for everyone,” co-owner Lesley Cushing shrugs. While her partner spends the days carving up the waves, Cushing takes a more laid-back approach to the camp. “There’s colonial history, good seafood, and lots of other activities besides surf like biking, walking trails, and really great beaches to relax.”
It was such a pleasure working with Keph Senett! She was extremely professional prior to the trip and very enthusiastic to learn more about Brazil. She produced a lot of great coverage after her trip and we would love to work with her again. I highly recommend working with her!
– Joao H. Rodrigues, Account Director, FSB Communications (PR Agency for Visit Brasil)