The record number of openly gay Olympic athletes has boosted the acceptance of Brazil’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community amid a backlash over same-sex marriages. 49 gay athletes are thought to be competing, double the number of London in 2012. The Rio Olympics have seen the first married gay couple competing and a lesbian marriage proposal at a medal ceremony.
Brazil’s courts have recognized civil unions between homosexuals but its Congress has opposed the legalization of same-sex marriages. The Brazilian gay community hopes the high-profile example of Olympic athletes can help change attitudes in Brazil.