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Drag queens to grace Vogue magazine cover in Brazil

MEXICO CITY, Sept 28 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A pair of drag queens will grace the October cover of Vogue in Brazil, the magazine said on Monday, marking a landmark for the iconic fashion publication in a nation where openly gay and trans people face violence and discrimination.

Grammy-nominated singer Pabllo Vittar and rapper Gloria Groove will each appear on separate covers of Vogue Brasil’s issue entitled “Eleganza Extravaganza,” which hits newsstands on Oct. 9.

Vogue Brasil has a print readership of 365,000 and is part of Conde Nast’s global Vogue brand, which has more than two dozen international editions and a worldwide print reach of 24.9 million readers.

“I was ... researching Vogue’s most iconic covers and absorbing the fact that now it’s my turn,” Groove, known for the 2017 hit “Bumbum de Ouro,” told Vogue.

“I’m living a dream, and I am thrilled with the invitation because being here positions drag queens as fashion icons.”

Despite a string of recent legal victories, LGBT+ issues remain divisive in Brazil, which regularly ranks as the world’s deadliest country for trans people.

Last year, the South American country’s Supreme Court ruled that transphobia and homophobia were criminal offences, and a 2018 ruling allowed trans people to change their names and gender on official documents without undergoing surgery.

But politically and socially, LGBT+ people face public attacks, especially under the administration of right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro.

The president regularly speaks out against “gender ideology,” a conservative term used to condemn progressive ideas on sex and gender.

Vittar in 2018 became the first drag queen to get a Latin Grammy nomination with the song “Sua Cara” in the Urban Fusion/Performance category.

Popular on the music-streaming service Spotify and on the YouTube video site, Vittar has been a vocal advocate of LGBT+ rights and critic of Bolsonaro’s views and policies.

“It’s not wrong for you to love yourself, to take care of yourself,” Vittar said in an interview published by the magazine. “People will have to learn to respect you for who you are.”

The depiction of the drag queen covers was welcomed by LGBT+ advocates who see them as flag-bearers for the gay community and by opposition politicians in Brazil.

“What pride! Let’s keep occupying more spaces every time,” wrote David Miranda, an openly gay Brazilian congressman, on Instagram on Monday. “Long live all that we are and represent.”

It is not the first time drag queens have graced the magazine's cover. Brazilian drag queen Uyra Sodoma was one of four activists featured on covers of Vogue Brasil's September issue. (Reporting by Oscar Lopez, Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers the lives of people around the world who struggle to live freely or fairly. Visit news.trust.org)

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