Telenovela Actor Writes Letter Denouncing Homophobia - plus55


Leonardo Vieira received cyber attacks after a photo of him kissing a friend went viral
Brazil Culture

According to telenovela actor Leonardo Vieira, he never “came out of the closet” because he was never in one. The 48-year-old Brazilian star has played the heartthrob in series like “Renascer,” “Sonho meu,” and “Senhora do destino.”

Vieira released a letter to the press on Monday speaking out against homophobia. He was recently the target of homophobic attacks over a picture of a kiss that went viral. The picture is of Vieira kissing a friend on his birthday, a private moment that ended up going public. He has since reported the cyber attacks to the Precinct for Virtual Repression and Crimes. The star hopes that the incident will carry consequences not only for his attackers, but for future homophobic acts as well.

The actor emphasized that he has never hid his sexual orientation from his conservative, Catholic family, who accept him fully.

Not a choice

Vieira states that he didn’t “choose to be gay”. Furthermore, he writes: “I never felt like a criminal or to blame for being homosexual… the fact of being gay never hurt anyone, if anything it hurt myself”. And while Vieira expressed sadness for the fact that homosexuality is “still a taboo in 2017”, he doesn’t exactly communicate pride in being gay. He states, “if I could choose, I would choose to be heterosexual, without a doubt”.