RIO DE JANEIRO — The Olympics are meant to be inclusive, and in a country not known for its tolerance for LGBT people there were signs of acceptance during the opening ceremony.
Before the ceremony opened, a kiss cam focused on two men. The crowd atMaracana Stadium roared as the men kissed.
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During the Parade of Athletes, five of the volunteers carrying the placards of each country are transsexual.
The Olympic Charter says the rights and freedoms set forth in it are secured “without discrimination of any kind, such as race, color, sex, sexual orientation, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.”
Earlier this year, there were extensive protests on the streets of Rio following alleged police brutality against members of the LGBTQ community around the time of Carnival.
Gay rights groups have long complained of discrimination in both regular society and in the workplace, despite Brazilian law officially dictating that all people should be treated fairly and equally.
In particular, transsexuals have suffered in Rio, where conservative ideals still hold sway.
The New York Times recently said Brazil is “the world’s deadliest” place for LGBT community.
Grupo Gay da Bahia, an LGBT advocacy group, claimed an average of one LGBT person is killed every day in Brazil.
“It is very difficult for transsexuals in Rio,” said Dayana Gusmao, an executive for Rio Without Homophobia, told USA TODAY Sports earlier this year. “They are shunned from society and often left with no option but to become prostitutes.”
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