“Brazil world champion of transvestites” and a photo of a team wearing Vasco’s shirt: that was the headline of Lampião da Esquina in January 1981. But as the Cruz-Maltino uniform ended up wearing the characters on the cover of one of the editions of what became known as “Brazil’s first gay newspaper”? Apparently, the country being in the midst of the Military Dictatorship, a hint of chance and a counselor who also sponsored the club’s base are factors that help to explain.
Lampião da Esquina was launched in 1978 and was part of what was called the “alternative press”. Its pages dealt not only with issues related to sexuality, but also identity and social issues, in a counterpoint to traditional newspapers. In addition, there were also politics, environment, among other points. Circulation took place until 1981.
In issue 32 of the publication, dated January 1981, the subtitle was “five pages on bionic queers, and one more interview with Rogéria, the Zico of this selection”. On page 3, a text with the same name as the headline was signed by the poet and art critic Francisco Bittencourt, a member of the editorial board of Lampião. The interview with Rogéria was conducted by Aguinaldo Silva, Alceste Pinheiro, Antonio Carlos Moreira, Dolores Rodrigues and Cynthia Sarti.
O UOL Esporte sought out some of these journalists to find out why the club’s shirt was used. After the contact, Aguinaldo Silva, one of the most important authors of soap operas in the country, made a publication on his Facebook page and indicated that the initial intention was for the team portrayed on the cover to wear the Brazil shirt.
“I remembered that the original idea of João Paulo Pinheiro, the producer of the photo, was to dress the models with shirts from the Brazilian team. But beware: we were in the midst of Dictatorship. The Brazilian team was considered by the military who then sent a symbol of the nation. And, dressing transvestites with shirts from the “Canary” team could give us one more lawsuit – we were already facing two under the Press Law – because the then Minister of Justice, Armando Falcão, had already made it clear that he would not give us a truce. record someone suggested: ‘let’s wear a team shirt!'”, he posted.
In a small box on page 7 of that issue, there is the following message on the cover: “Vasco’s shirts and the ball were a kindness from Rey das Calças – Moda Jovem Unisex (Copacabana, Ipanema, Leblon and Rio-Sul Shopping Center). The stage is by the Alaska Theater, and the production was by João Paulo Pinheiro. Photo: Ricardo Tupper“.
The “golden team of transvestites”, as the newspaper called it, was formed by: Sandra Mara, Kiriaki, Marlene Casanova, Verushka Ângela Leclery, Jane, Cláudia Celeste, Elaine, La Miranda, Fujica and Monique Lamarque.
The place where the images were taken was close to, at the time, Rey das Calças, now Rey & Co, in Copacabana. The store is owned by Faues Cherene Jassus, aka Mussa, Cruz-Maltino’s advisor since 1979. In the early 80’s, even, Rey das Calças was a sponsor of the club’s base.
Mussa, still active in the political life of São Januário and “father of the direct” in the election of Colina, admitted that he did not remember specifically the demand of Lampião da Esquina, but, with good humor, points out that, at the time, he distributed the club’s shirts. decoration.
“I set up Rey das Calças in 64, on Rua da Alfândega. [ano da edição], I had several stores, and some also for sporting goods. The cheerleaders looked for Vasco fans to help with parties, trips, raffles for material, and I gave them. I had a car full of Vasco’s shirts (laughs). At Aterro do Flamengo, there were a lot of teams that would play Vasco because I had given them the uniform. About the newspaper’s request, I don’t remember exactly, but the store was mine,” he told UOL Esporte.
“I’m from Campos and, at the beginning of the 80’s, I sponsored the Americano and the Goytacaz. [ex-presidente Antônio Soares] Sidewalk and we won the election [de 82]. Vasco was in a difficult situation and he asked me to help, but I didn’t have the resources for the professional team. I started to sponsor the base, and, as vice president, I got the sponsorship from Bandeirante Seguros for the main team”, he added.
That cover turned out to be one of the few explicit references to a team and football. Recently, the piece was part of some exhibitions, such as “Crônicas cariocas”, which was at the Rio Art Museum. The official profile of MASP, Museu de Arte de São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand, has also published the cover on social networks.
One of the members of the cover team of that edition of Lampião da Esquina was Cláudia Celeste, the first one standing on the left. Last Monday (22), the Doodle (illustration at the top of the Google search engine) praised her figure, as she became the first transvestite to act as an actress in soap operas in Brazil. The carioca made history by participating in “Espelho Mágico”, shown by Globo in 1977, and as a fixed character in “Olho por Olho”, by Rede Manchete, in 1988.
Cláudia was a singer, dancer, producer and author, and fought for the rights of transgender and LGBTQIA+ artists. The Tilt, from UOLrecalled a little of her trajectory on the day of the tribute made by the search engine.
At the time, homosexuality in sport and football were even more taboo topics than they are today. And the matter was dealt with in Lampião da Esquina, under an incisive coverage in the denunciation of this aspect. As an example, in the July/August 1978 issue, two notes were named “sports news (1)” and “sports news (2)”.
The first was a film that was shown in the United States and told the story of an athletics coach and an athlete who were preparing for the Olympics, and were homosexuals living together, “which causes scandal at home and abroad”. Also in the text, there was a harsh criticism of José Inácio Werneck, a sports columnist who, after Brazil’s defeat in the World Cup, wrote that it was “necessary in clubs to reformulate the football schools that are currently given over to incompetents and, worse, incompetents” homosexuals”.
The second note told the story of “Coligay”, an organized group of Grêmio that existed between 1977 and 1983 and was formed by homosexuals. But with a criticism: “The members of the group, when united by the identity of the affected gestures, the shaking and the aggressive exhibitionism, represent exactly the role that the machos attribute to them”. Then, they mention that “they think they are ready to serve as a clown to male chauvinists”.
In the experimental edition of the newspaper, in April 1978, in response to a letter from a reader, which cited an interview by Orlando Fantoni, then Vasco’s coach, to “Última Hora” in São Paulo, who spoke about “homosexuality in football”. , Lampião promised: “wait for the June issue of our newspaper, in honor of the World Cup. After that, football will never be the same.”
However, the article was not published. In a note entitled: “Football is always the same”, it was explained that “the story, still in the investigation phase, proved to be very strong And then when we tried to write it, it became very clear that we could not publish it without getting into an atmosphere of “delivery” that is not ours. Thus, the readers are frustrated, but we keep our initial promise: respect the rights of those who want to remain closeted”.
[O machismo] It did not influence the agenda in an absolute way. The subject [futebol] it was played in several situations, such as when Clóvis Bornay tried to form Flagay. On that occasion, João Antônio Mascarenhas, now deceased, published an article in the newspaper, in which he severely criticized Márcio Braga and rubbed him in the face that he had been a swimmer for the club, in many official competitions, when he was young.
Alceste Pinheiro, who was part of the team at Lampião da Esquina, UOL Esporte.
The Corner Lamp
In a time of repression and conservatism, Lampião da Esquina brought up challenging themes, political issues and with headlines that had an impact. In June 2020, Ecoa UOL told a little about the history of what became known as the “first gay newspaper in Brazil”.
The editorial board of the newspaper was formed by journalists Aguinaldo Silva (also playwright), Adão Costa, Antonio Chrysóstomo, Gasparino Damata and João Antônio Mascarenhas, by the plastic artist Darcy Penteado, by the poet and art critic Francisco Bittencourt, by the filmmaker and writer João Silvério Trevisan, anthropologist Peter Fry and film critic Jean Claude Bernardet.
“The newspaper, initially, was more concerned with removing the ‘gay’ from the social margin, opening the discourse to minorities. In its final phase, it adapts to the ghetto and becomes more daring, even containing sensual essays and approaching more controversial topics than it did in its initial phase.“, says an excerpt from the Dignidade Group website.
In 2016, the documentary “Lampião da Esquina” was released, produced by Doctela, co-produced by Canal Brasil and directed by Lívia Perez.
Actions and Prejudice
In recent years, several clubs, and the CBF itself, have carried out awareness-raising actions against homophobia, but the matter still faces certain barriers and often does not find the necessary echo to have an effect.
Posts on social networks, parts of the uniform and stadium with the colors of the LGBTQIA+ flag and even partnerships with NGOs were some of the practices seen in Brazilian football in recent years, especially on symbolic dates, such as the LGBTQIA+ World Pride Day, celebrated on the 28th of June.
At the same time, the number 24, for example, is still viewed with prejudice even in the Brazilian team. The Canarinho team that participated in the 2021 Copa América, played in Brazil, was the only one not to have a player with 24 – a number that in Jogo do Bicho represents the deer – on its back. The number jumped from 23 of goalkeeper Ederson to 25 of midfielder Douglas Luiz. Sought at the time, the CBF did not want to explain the reason for this decision.
Shirt from that cover of 81, Vasco, now institutionally, drew attention in recent movements in this direction. Last year, it launched a shirt with a diagonal stripe bearing the colors of the LGBTQIA+ flag. The game against Brusque, for the Brazilian Series B, was marked by the celebration of forward Germán Cano, who raised the flag in a corner, which also made reference to the movement.
In June of this year, representatives of the club’s organizations signed a Code of Ethical Conduct, prepared by the Integrity and Legal departments, in which they commit to adopting practices of transparency and combating violence, harassment and discrimination in stadiums.