Tolerance of queer male performances of gender and sexuality in Rio de Janeiro
Furlong, Anthony Brendan
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Although social research on sexuality is growing in Latin America, studies into tolerance are scarce. The purpose of this research was to investigate the relationship between queer male practices and tolerance amongst a group of gay, bisexual and travesti men in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. To explore this issue 83 men were interviewed and ethnographic research was carried out with the gay rights organisation Arco-Íris and AIDS organisation ABIA. Whilst current literature generally positions the queer community as requiring tolerance from an intolerant society, this study suggests that intolerance of certain gendered and sexualised behaviours is produced within the queer community and affects queer male behaviours. It is suggested that factors such as race, class, religious belief and notions of beauty, style and respect influence the construction and experience of various sites across the city, such as the home, the workplace, the gay scene and the street as tolerant and intolerant. Current work is expanded through exploring the relationship between gendered and sexualised behaviours and (in)tolerance in understudied spaces, such as LGBT organisations, religious spaces and online communities. It is argued that future work must consider the way in which tolerance and intolerance function within the queer community as this study has done, rather than relying on taken-for-granted assumptions that intolerance towards queers originates from those outwith the queer community.