In the course of the past two decades, male-male sexuality has become increasingly visible in Brazil. Today, there are homosocial/sexual commercial establishments and homosexual/gay political organizations in nearly all large-and many small-Brazilian cities, a growing gay press and regular mainstream press coverage of gay cultural and political issues. These changes in the landscape of male-male sexuality may be seen as marking the emergence of gay communities/culture(s) in Brazil. Less clear is how the many different actors that make up the homoerotic sexual stage (e.g. travestis, bofes, bichas, gays, homens, passivos, etc.) fit into this (imagined) 'gay community' and its shifting spaces of desire, money, identity, cultural representation and social practice. In this article I will examine how 'gayness' and the 'gay community' have been conceived and experienced by participants in Porto Alegre's homosexual/gay subcultures. I will centre my discussion around data obtained from ethnographic fieldwork at a group for travesti sex workers based out of GAPA, Porto Alegre's largest AIDS-related organization and at Nuances, Porto Alegre's principal homosexual/gay rights group. My objective is to map out some of the key tensions and power dynamics involved in the apparent consolidation of gay communities/culture in Brazil and to explore what might be gained and lost - and for whom - in these recent transformations of Brazilian (male) homosexualities.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/charles_klein/9/