The Federal Public Ministry asked the STJ to reject an appeal by Jair Bolsonaro against his conviction for homophobia, in 2017, in the amount of R$ 150 thousand, for moral damages against the LGBTQIA+ community due to
The condemnation came because Bolsonaro said in the program CQC from TV Bandeirantes that he would not have a gay son because they were “very well educated”, with a present father and that, therefore, he was not “at risk”.
In the same frame, he also stated “Do not call me homosexual, racist or even a thief” and also declared: “I don’t have any information that my son has a homosexual behavior towards anyone, even because everything that these fags have to offer, women have and it is better”
According to Deputy Attorney Antônio Bigonha, Bolsonaro endorses the “humiliation and feeling of worthlessness caused by the statements of the then deputy”. In addition, there are also procedural reasons for rejecting the appeal and, contrary to what was claimed by Bolsonaro’s defense, LGBT associations had the legitimacy to sue him, according to Bigonha.
Bolsonaro’s lawyers also questioned the existence of collective moral damages. Bigonha said that the issue can only be assessed in the first two instances. As regards the allegation of parliamentary immunity and freedom of expression, the deputy prosecutor said that only the Supreme Court could analyze this issue.
The lawsuit was filed by the entities Grupo Diversidade Niterói, Grupo Cabo Free for Homosexual Awareness and Combat Against Homophobia and Grupo Arco-Íris for Awareness.
HOW TO PROTECT ME FROM HOMOPHOBIA?
The word homophobia is the combination of “homo” (prefix for homosexuals) and “phobia” (fear or aversion), and was originally created by the psychologist George Weinber in 1971. However, “Phobia” is not just restricted to “fear”, and also encompasses any type of aversion, disgust, hatred, prejudice and discrimination against homosexuals.. This word is derived from the others, such as “biphobia” or “transphobia”.
In addition to the most extreme cases involving physical violence and even murder, we see verbal and moral aggressions in everyday life where they put LGBT people in less favorable positions, such as “jokes” or even a debauchery smile that already shows that the other is belittling you.
According to psychologist Eric A. Samuels, a clinician specializing in LGBTQIA+ guidelines, there are some steps you can take to protect yourself from homophobia without having to “hide”:
- Self-acceptance: the first step is to understand that there is nothing wrong with feeling attracted to people of the same gender as yours. Valuing yourself, loving yourself and accepting yourself is fundamental for you to empower yourself and fight against episodes of homophobia. This includes the fact that you have feminine attitudes, like certain types of music or clothes and do not fit into what society designates as a man should be. You are like that and it’s okay to be the way you are;
- Accept that not everyone will accept you: directly linked to the previous point, you don’t have to fight for “everyone” to accept you, especially because everyone’s approval is unnecessary. If the person doesn’t give you the respect you deserve, it’s time to move on with your life. Join people who accept you.
- Get out of the closet: telling the world that you are LGBT is an act of empowerment and forces people to deal with it without being that “veiled” thing where some people are suspicious, others are not, but “no one says anything”. It is an act that demonstrates strength, courage and authenticity. Those who love you and accept you will have security to defend you, while homophobics lose the strength of the tease. In many cases, a barrier is broken and the bond with a true friendship is further strengthened;
- Calm and head up: in situations where there are comments that make fun of you for being gay or trans, try to maintain self-control and have an upright posture and head up. This shows confidence and there will be a perception that the wrong person is the homophobic, not you;
- Avoid confrontations: do not argue with the homophobic and if possible, ignore him, but if it is not possible, avoid traditional insults and try to clarify only that he is wrong.
- The homophobic lives in my house: this case is more challenging, but confront them with a very frank conversation about acceptance and tolerance and try to make them understand that those attitudes cause you suffering. However, look for a quieter time to have this conversation and be patient so that others understand that you are that way and it’s okay to be like that;
- There’s no way, they will never understand me: in this case, breaking the bond may be the only way out for you to have better mental health. Look for people who accept you and who like you the way you are;
- Learn to defend yourself: unfortunately aggression against LGBT people is still a reality. If you live in a place that has a high rate of violence against homosexuals, it is important to know what to do. In extreme cases, take it to the authorities.