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Behind Brazil’s gay pride parades, a struggle with homophobic violence

People dance under a rainbow flag during the Gay Pride Parade in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, Nov.16, 2014.

People dance under a rainbow flag during the Gay Pride Parade in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, Nov.16, 2014. Silvia Izquierdo, AP

People dance under a rainbow flag during the Gay Pride Parade in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, Nov.16, 2014.Silvia Izquierdo, AP

People dance under a rainbow flag during the Gay Pride Parade in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, Nov.16, 2014.

Newsweek reports:

“I was walking to the elevator when he came up behind me. ‘This’ll teach you to never look at a real man again. Now you’re going to die, faggot!’ he screamed, before stabbing me in the neck.”

I’m talking to Rodrigo Mariano Miguel, a young man living in a small town on the outskirts of São Paulo, Brazil. He’s tall and thin, and despite the neck brace he’s wearing, he talks animatedly about what happened that day. The attack came in his apartment building, and he shows me the security video that captured everything. In it, you can see Miguel walking calmly into the complex. Moments later, his attacker rushes up behind him, brandishing a kitchen knife. The man stabs Miguel twice in the neck before running away.

“When I got to the hospital,” says Miguel, “the doctors told me I was extremely lucky. I came inches away from being a quadriplegic for the rest of my life.”

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