Gay Pride Rio – Index

The Rio de Janeiro Brazil Gay Pride Parade and its associated events are organized by the NGO Arco-Iris, since its foundation in May 21, 1993. Based in Rio de Janeiro, A non-profit organization, the Grupo Arco-Iris (Rainbow) mission is to fight for a more just and inclusive society, which recognizes equal rights for all. The association has served to promote citizenship and self-esteem of LGBT by conducting and encouraging activities of all kinds. The 16 years of success reflect the seriousness of the organization with its principles and goals.

The Group is one of the founders of the Brazilian Association of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender – ABGLT. The Group Arco-Iris also carries out various activities, parties, soirees, fairs, seminars, research, and the largest and most significant event of the LGBT community in our state: The LGBT Pride Parade-Rio, in Copacabana.

The 2010 Rio Gay Pride Parade expects 2 million people for its 15th edition on October 10th. Spring temperature on the 80’s, packed beaches and low prices for airfare and hotels, make it the right time to visit the Cidade Maravilhosa.

Gay Pride Celebration

Gay Pride typically runs for about a month in the spring when the temperatures are cooler and average in the 80’s.

The majority of activities usually occur within a one-week period and center around a general theme. Most the events involve some type of gay education.

A visual and audio exhibit of gay and lesbian history is offered as well as separate focus groups on gay men, lesbians and transsexuals.

For entertainment there are several concerts by gay artists or singers popular with the gay crowd. There is usually some type of theatre event displaying gays in the cinema. The culmination of Gay Pride is the Parade.

As one can imagine, the march is the event’s main activity and the one the draws the biggest attention to the press, the Brazilian authorities as well as to the hundreds of thousands of curious people that align themselves along the parade’s route.

Gay Pride Parade

In 2009, an estimated of 1,5 million people attended the 14th annual Rio de Janeiro Gay Pride Parade.Rio de Janeiro is Brazil’s most beautiful city and South America’s most visited by gay tourists. The event is the third most important in the city’s calendar, after New Year’s and Carnival. Many of the participants come decked out in brilliant, over-the-top costumes.

Needless to say it is quite a show. Parties take place to the wee hours on Monday morning with the most famous DJ’s. Last year the party LK3 pos-parade attracted thousands of gourgeous men dancing the mixes of DJ Roland Belmares (USA), Herbert Tonn, Jeff Valle, Robix. All animated by Drag Queen Salete Campari.This year, there will be a couple of after parade parties to choose from. Stay tuned.

The meeting point is at the Posto 6 which is located near the  Copacabana Fort , or if your not familiar with it, close to the Rio Sofitel Hotel. It’s right in the confluence of Ipanema and Copacabana. The parade will take place at the Avenida Atlantica along Copacabana Beach and will end at Posto 2, in the proximities of the famed Copacabana Palace Hotel. Even though the meeting point is at 1 PM, the parade doesn’t start to move before 2 or 3 PM.

TIP:  Don’t miss the warm-up. Get there as early as you can. Have fun with the many shows put on by DJ’s, Drag Queens and their carnival-like outfits, music concerts and much more.Arrive early and enjoy the beach while warming up.

Strongly supported by the State and the City of Rio de Janeiro government authorities, the event counts with a solid security plan. Supported by Petrobras, Embratur and many other private companies, the parade counts with a big team that is prepared to attend to any casualty that might occur

TIP: Avoid the use of illegal substances as well as the high consumption of alcohol. The majority of the occurrences are related to drugs and alcohol abuse.

Trios Elétricos

The highlight of the parade is the 15-18 floats that slowly wind their way down the parade route. These 2 story floats are wired for sound. Usually, sponsored by the gay clubs in the area, DJs and other musicians blast music associated with that particular club. These floats are like no others in the world, as many boast bars and toilets on board.

We are expecting approximately 20 trio eletricos to guarantee the music and the voice of the event. Representing NGOs, unions, the government itself, the floats are of all kinds. Last year’s highlights are the trio reserved for individuals with special needs and to honor the victims of HIV / AIDS, which closed the event, parading empty with nobody on top of it.

Visiting Rio During Gay Pride

Rio de Janeiro known as the Marvelous City, is a destination that has always roused the imagination of the gay and lesbian traveler.Falling in love with the city and its people is very easy. Cosmopolitan Cariocas are friendly with gays, lesbians and transgendered, making you feel welcome almost everywhere.

Languages  should not be a barrier. Most people you actually have to deal with understand basic English or Spanish.People come from all over the world to celebrate this event.

Expect to see minor displays of affections between gay couples such as handholding or kissing. For the most part however, gays do not take part in excessive displays of affection in public.

Unlike the Carnival and New Years, hotel prices are not very high during Gay Pride. Therefore, it can be quite affordable and it might be worth it to spend a few extra days in Rio enjoying the sights outside of the Gay Community such as Sugar Loaf or the Christ the Redeemer statue.


The Rio de Janeiro Gay Pride Parade is the highlight of the Gay Pride celebration that usually runs 1 month in spring, commonly October. Sponsored by Grupo Arco-Iris since its inception in 1993, the focus of the Gay Pride is to let the world know gays are people too.

The Theme

Each year a theme is chosen for the Gay Pride celebration. In 2009 the theme was “I have the right to live and love freely”. This year the theme is expected to center on the election.

While events run all month many are focused on the final week culminating with the Gay Pride Parade. This allows many gays, who travel from all over the world, to enjoy a week of gay focused activities.  Each activity usually has something to do with the theme.

Gay Pride Activities

The 2009 Gay Pride celebration began in Centro with an opening show including speeches from prominent gay community members.

During the final week of Gay Pride an exhibition ran at the Galeria do Centro Cultural Sergio Porto called “Our history, our strength, our voice: 14 years of LGBT Pride Parade-Rio”. Other exhibits included movies that focused on diversity and Gay Pride as well as seminars on AIDS and gay health.

There were concerts as well as an awards show celebrating individuals at the forefront of Human Rights. There was a special festival focusing on lesbian and bisexual women that ran one day during Gay Pride week. Stalls are set up throughout Gay Pride week. They run along Copacabana beach and function to teach the public about gay rights. The final celebration is the Gay Pride Parade.

The Parade

The parade sponsor, Grupo Arco Iris, expects from 1-2 million people to attend this spectacle. In 2009 1.2 million spectators lined the parade route and 2 million people are anticipated in 2010. The event is so large it brings up to $50 million USD in revenue to Rio de Janeiro.

The parade begins at Posto 6 adjacent to Forte de Copacabana in between Ipanema and Copacabana beaches. The route runs along Avenida Atlantica and ends at Posto 2 near the Copacabana Palace Hotel. The parade usually begins sometime between 2-3 pm. It is 1.3 miles (or 2.1 km long) and while waiting for the Parade may spectators will spend their time tanning on the beach.

Parade Participants

Before the parade starts there is plenty of fun to be had. There are many shows going on in anticipation of the parade. DJs play the music while drag queens in gaudy brilliant outfits strut their stuff and play with the crowd. These drag queens as well as numerous gay revelers dressed in Carnivalesque costume participate in the parade. The highlight of the parade is the Trio Eletricos floats.

Approximately 20 floats are expected in 2010. These floats, many sponsored by local clubs, drive down the street blasting party music.  Each is up to two stories tall and often contains a bar and toilet on board. For some floats the music is pre-programmed while others have actual DJs spinning tunes. Each float usually has a theme such as a float for special needs individuals or AIDS and HIV awareness.

After the parade is over there are closing celebration parties at Le Boy for gays and La Girl for lesbians.

This is a last chance for attendees to the Gay Pride event to make new friends or cement new relationships. The standard cry between gays is “See ya next year”.