1. Brazil’s Toni Reis: family man and occasional TV star
We have all heard about Brazil’s gay friendly reputation, but the country is not all rainbows and pride parades. Despite party-worthy accomplishments over the years — including São Paolo’s gay marriage approval in 2012 — the regional hegemon has seen a steady rise in homophobic hate crimes.
Fighting on the front lines is Toni Reis, Education Director of the Brazilian Federation of LGBT Groups, or ABGLT. This organization, the largest LGBT network in Latin America at 203 organizations, earned consultative status with the United Nations in 2009, the first in the southern hemisphere!
Recently, Reis celebrated a win of his own: for one day in March, his family became TV ‘stars’ on ParanáTV. When Reis married his partner 25 years ago, he could not have predicted that their silver anniversary would be featured on television, let alone that they would star with their three adopted children — No thanks to the Brazilian courts, which fought the couple tooth and nail on the right to adopt.