Gay Sao Paulo: More than meets the eye

When we think of Brazil, we typically think of the the stereotype of celebratory Rio de Janeiro with its tanned Brazilians lounging in swim briefs on the beach--or parading down the street in rainbow-feathered boas. But further down south there's another South American megalopolis with just as much bravado as its flamboyant, flirty cousin up the coast.

It would be unfair to say that Sao Paulo has an emerging gay scene, because, frankly, it's quite fully erect. The Sao Paulo annual gay pride parade is one of the largest in the world, drawing a crowd of three million. And even during down-time, walking around the Jardim Paulista district you'll see elegant restaurants, swanky shops, cocktail lounges and the gays and lesbians who frequent them.

The GLS scene (Brazilian slang for Gay, Lesbian & Sympathizers) has a more alternative/underground slant than the in-your-face extravaganza associated with Rio. Megaclubs with glowing go-go boys, electro DJ's and after hours are popular, but so are restaurant bars with live music, cheap drinks and drag shows.

And speaking of underground: Gay sex clubs in Sao Paulo certainly are not. With a good balance of bathhouses and escort saunas (prostitution is legal in Brazil), rentboys, tourists, businessmen and local Paulistas all have a place to meet and mingle for a steamy good time.

Restaurants to check out

Upcoming Events in Sao Paulo