Eduardo Leite, the governor of the southern Brasilian state of Rio Grande do Sul, came out as gay last week. The 36-year-old Leite came out during an interview on national television. According to The Guardian, during the interview, Governor Leite stated, “I’m gay – and I’m a governor who is gay rather than a gay governor. Just as Obama in the United States wasn’t a black president, but a president who was black. And I’m proud of this.”
This isn’t just a powerful moment because of Leite’s status as a Governor, but also because he plans to run for president. According to the New York Daily News, Governor Leite has his eye on the presidency and plans to challenge the current president (and proud bigot) Jair Bolsonaro in the country’s 2022 national election.
Brasil has recently been sliding into a fascist, hateful spiral as President Bolsonaro feeds the nation with hateful rhetoric and scare tactics, similar to the way Trump has for the last five years. But Bolsonaro’s bigotry predates his presidency by many years. In 2011, he told Playboy he “would be incapable of loving a homosexual son … I would prefer my son to die in an accident than show up with a mustachioed man.” The Independent has a full list of all the hateful comments Bolsonaro has made against the LGBTQ community, women, his political opponents, and more.
If Governor Leite can overtake Bolsonaro in the vote come 2022, he could help bring massive (and much-needed) change to Brasil.