Brazil’s homophobic president, Jair Bolsonaro, complained at a press conference Friday about his treatment by the media, telling a reporter, “Your face looks an awful lot like a homosexual’s.”
Bolsonaro, who has made such anti-LGBTQ remarks as saying he’d rather have a dead son than a gay one, is currently embroiled in a scandal involving one of his sons, Sen. Flávio Bolsonaro. The younger man is accused of hiring “phantom” employees — with nothing to do — when he was a state lawmaker; they may have “kicked back part of their salaries to then be laundered through a chocolate shop he co-owns,” the Associated Press reports.
Jair Bolsonaro has claimed journalists are biased against his son and himself. At the meeting with reporters, the president complained of being characterized — erroneously, he said — as being racist and anti-environment. He then told one of the media members, “Your face looks an awful lot like a homosexual’s, but that’s no reason to accuse you of being a homosexual.” The reporter’s name has not been disclosed.
Bolsonaro then attempted to explain away the comment, New York’s Gay City News reports, citing Portuguese-language Brazilian news outlet Globo.com. “To whom did I say was terribly homosexual … is he not here today?” he asked. “Send him a kiss from me! It’s just like football: Up front, from time to time, you send your colleague to the [torture chamber], and then go out for a drink with him afterwards. Yes, I make a mistake. I should not have spoken.”
Some Brazilians lampooned the president’s comments on social media, posting pictures of themselves with the caption “awfully homosexual face,” according to AP. Jean Wyllys, a gay man who often sparred with Bolsonaro when they both were in Brazil’s Congress, tweeted, “‘An awfully homosexual face.’ With pride!”