Catholics in Rio: Confrontation with a Lesbian (Gasp!)

So it’s World Youth Day (WYD) here in Rio… Don’t be fooled, it’s not actually just one day, it’s a whole week!

What this means is that there are thousands and thousands of Catholics in the city this week — mainly, of course, to see Pope Francis.

Pope Francis got here on Monday, and ever since then the South Zone (and mostly Copacabana, where I live) has been a nightmare in terms of traveling. Not only are the subway trains and the buses almost always full, the streets of Copacabana are packed with people, all sporting the same “JMJ” backpack (“JMJ” stands for “Jornal Mundial de Juventude” which is the Portuguese translation of “World Youth Day”).

I swear to god (ha) if I see one more of these backpacks... [Original Image: CBS Philadelphia]

I swear to god (ha) if I see one more of these backpacks… [Original Image: CBS Philadelphia]

And, of course, on Tuesday, when I was on my way to BJJ, the entire subway system was shut down.

It took me over an hour to travel the length of 3 subway stops (which usually takes about 5 minutes), packed in the train like I was in a can of sardines. Then, at the third stop, all the lights went off and you could hear the engine shut off. I ended up getting out and walking the rest of the way to jiu jitsu, but apparently some people got stranded inside the station and got upset and broke some shit. Yeah, good job Rio subway authorities.

……

Anyways, this post is not really about the chaos happening here as a result of the Catholic Church. It’s about one particular story that someone posted in a Facebook group for lesbians in Rio de Janeiro:

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Translation:

Getting this off my chest…I’m part of the Rio Municipal Guard, but I don’t work in uniform.Today, in the neighborhood where I work (Catete), the Pope came to say the Angelus prayer. I went to take a look around to see how the organization was going before he arrived, and, although I was not wearing anything identifying myself as a Municipal Guard, I intervened in two cases of children who had gotten sick.When I was returning to base, I saw a third girl around 15 years old having a seizure, so I ran to where one of my colleagues was in uniform, they came to help, and we started to carry the girl, who was at this point still unconscious, to the ambulance.Her parents, who weren’t even there for the girl, started to look around at the other Catholic pilgrims around them and lashed out the following comment:

“Look at this, Oswaldo, this here isn’t a pilgrim, it’s a DYKE, completely homosexual. She doesn’t need to be here staining our religion. She really needs to die.”

Imagine this situation I’m in, with this little girl in my arms and having to listen to this.

My colleague looked at me and said to keep my cool. Out of concern for the little girl, I went to the ambulance, left her with the firefighters and, before leaving, said to the woman:

“I’m a lesbian, and I’m proud of it. I don’t judge you Catholics, so in case your daughter gets sick again, feel free to call me again, okay?”

Then I walked away.

I think she should probably still be hanging her head.

Note: I added spacing and punctuation as I saw fit, since it’s kind of hard to read the whole thing as one giant sentence, the way the writer originally wrote it..

…As you can imagine, all of the other lesbians in the Facebook group responded with supportive comments like “Congratulating you on your attitude — in addition to being very professional it was also compassionate” and “Perfect response. It’s not the girl’s fault that her mother is like that.”

It made me happy to read her post and people’s responses. :)

….

Okay, now back to my day of trying to figure out how to make websites… Maybe I’ll be able to concentrate a little better once the Catholics stop chanting and singing hymns en masse and at the top of their lungs outside my window… -_____-;;;;

…Also, somewhat related, but mostly just strange:

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I walked by this giant stage that had been set up along the beach in Copacabana for the Pope’s visit and World Youth Day. I’m still not entirely sure what the importance of hanging a bunch of giant red ball sacks is..? But then again, I guess it’s the Catholic Church, so it makes sense….

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