The "Adé Dudu - group of black homosexuals" was founded in the city of Salvador-BA on March 14, 1981. Throughout the first half of the 1980s, the group maintained an intense activity to denounce structural racism in Brazilian society and the “double prejudice” experienced by Black LGBT+ people.
Cover of “Diga Ai, Bicha!” (1982) by CEDOC LGBT+ collection of Grupo DignidadeGeledés Instituto da Mulher Negra | Rede de Historiadores Negros | Acervo Cultne
Fags organizing themselves, for what?
On March 14, 1981, a meeting was held in the city of Salvador-BA, in which the Adé Dudu - Grupo de Negros Homossexuais (Black Homosexual Group) was founded. It had passed three years since the Movimento Negro Unificado (MNU) intensified the nationalization of the Black Movement. In 1978, the first organizations of the Movimento Homossexual Brasileiro were also created - a term that, at the time, was used to refer to new forms of political action around the struggle for better living conditions for the LGBT+ community. In this context of rearticulation of social movements in the military dictatorship, Adé Dudu promoted numerous actions to denounce racism as a structure of Brazilian society and the “double prejudice” experienced by Black LGBT+ community
Portrait of Tosta Passarinho (1996) by Private collection of Emerval da HoraGeledés Instituto da Mulher Negra | Rede de Historiadores Negros | Acervo Cultne
Backgrounds: the first cry
In 1978, a lecture caught the attention of more than two hundred black men and women present at an MNU activity coordinated by the anthropologist and activist Lélia Gonzalez in Salvador. Edson Santos Tosta, known as Tosta Passarinho, pointed to the existence of particular ways of discrimination against black homosexuals: while the expression of their bodies was constantly repressed by whites and blacks, the relations within the homosexual community were often regulated by racism. Lélia Gonzalez and other women from MNU received well his demands, as Ana Célia da Silva recalls.
O Inimigo do Rei cover (1979-03) by CEDAP/Unesp-Assis CollectionGeledés Instituto da Mulher Negra | Rede de Historiadores Negros | Acervo Cultne
Besides black, a fag!
In November 1979, the anarchist newspaper O Inimigo do Rei printed the cover story “Além de Preto, Bicha” (“Besides black, a fag!”). The text was written by Hamilton Vieira who at the time was a journalism student at the Universidade Federal da Bahia (UFBA). Vieira had interviewed black gay men about the different forms of racism and homophobia they experienced. Analysing this “double prejudice”, a statement at the end of the text advocated for the organization of Black Homossexuals.
Portrait of Hamilton Vieira Portrait by Private Collection of Edenice SantanaGeledés Instituto da Mulher Negra | Rede de Historiadores Negros | Acervo Cultne
The expression “Além de Preto, Bicha” was mentioned by one of the interviewers, a 20-year-old dancer who used the pseudonym “Nega Fulô”, as part of the racism suffered in his daily life. “Nega Fulô” was actually Dionisius Filho, who two years later would be at the foundation of Adé Dudu. The title of the text shocked Wilson Santos, co-founder of the group, who tells a little about the impact of the article on the development of his ideas about racism.
Cover of the newspaper Lampião da Esquina (1981-03) by Bajubá CollectionGeledés Instituto da Mulher Negra | Rede de Historiadores Negros | Acervo Cultne
The nationalization of “Bixórdia”
In 1978, the Movimento Homossexual Brasileiro had its first moments. The newspaper Lampião da Esquina (1978-1981), published in Rio de Janeiro and sold throughout the country, was fundamental for the nationalization of a new approach of the LGBT+ community. Produced only by homossexuals, it used their own language and dealt openly with their problems. From the first issue, Lampião traced a strategy of constant dialogue with other social movements, whether seeking to produce spaces of mutual solidarity, or by exposing their tensions. The periodical created a network of male and female readers that included some of Adé Dudu’s future members.
Interview with Leci Brandão to the newspaper Lampião da Esquina (1978-11) by Bajubá CollectionGeledés Instituto da Mulher Negra | Rede de Historiadores Negros | Acervo Cultne
"I want to keep singing all my preferences"
In Lampião, Black and Homossexual experiences were almost always presented isolated. The interview with samba singer Leci Brandão published in November 1978 was one of the rare moments when these themes coincided. Brandão was the first woman to join the Mangueira composers' group in 1974, and she had in her repertoire several songs in which she revealed aspects of the LGBT+ community. The conversation was presented by the following sentence: "In the next two pages, the reader will be able to feel the weight of the sincerity of this artist who does not hesitate to talk openly about her triple - and not always easy - condition of woman, black and homosexual." Experiences that she claimed to live inseparably.
Grupo Somos at demonstration organized by the MNU (1979-11-20) by James Green. James Green Private CollectionGeledés Instituto da Mulher Negra | Rede de Historiadores Negros | Acervo Cultne
“Against the discrimination if the black homossexual”
The approach between the Homossexual Movement and the Black Movement also took place in São Paulo, in 1978. The participation of the nearly created Somos - Grupo de Affirmação Homossexual in the activities organized by the MNU for the National Day of Black Consciousness reveals the construction of spaces of solidarity between both groups. However, young black homossexuals from that city recognized the importance of discussing the uniqueness of their experiences. Then, in 1980, the Group de Negros Homossexuais de São Paulo (GNH-SP) was created. With an ephemeral life, the group held meetings for about nine months and acted autonomously from other organizations.
Newspaper Corpo nº 0 (1980) by José Luíz/Al Eleazar Fun.Private collectionGeledés Instituto da Mulher Negra | Rede de Historiadores Negros | Acervo Cultne
"Uniting race and sexuality"
The GNH-SP made its manifesto public at the 3rd Festival Comunitário Negro Zumbi (FECONEZU), an event held in the city of São Carlos/SP in 1980, which was fundamental in the process of nationalization of the Black Conscioussness Day. The manifesto was published under the title “Falam os negros” in the newspaper Corpo, edited by Grupo Somos. The way they sought to expand the idea of citizenship is revealed right at the beginning: “At this moment that Brazilian society is going through a transitional phase in which blacks, women, Indigenous and homosexuals fight and demand the space that is their right , we are driven by the need to take a stand and bring to the light the burden of prejudice to which we are exposed daily in all sectors of society, we denounce the discrimination and arbitrariness brought against us by the fact that as blacks we assume our homosexual behavior”.
Adé Dudu founding letter (1981) by Collection of Arquivo Edgard Leuenroth (AEL/UnicampGeledés Instituto da Mulher Negra | Rede de Historiadores Negros | Acervo Cultne
On a March 14…
These antecedents stimulated the debate among the black gay men who founded Adé Dudu on March 14, 1981: Antonio Carlos Conceição, Dionisius Filho (“Nêga Fulô”), Ermeval da Hora, Ernani Filho, Evilásio Santos, Genildo Souza, Jorge Santos, Marco Argolo, Marcus Mahallia, Roquinho, Sóstenes (Sostinho), Tosta Passarinho, Wilson Santana and Wilson “Mandela” Santos. In the founding letter, the group pointed out the need to discuss their own issues and organize themselves, so they could “work together with other people and groups of homosexuals, blacks, women, popular sectors”. In the document, they explained the meaning of the group's name: Adé Dudu means Black Homossexual in Yoruba. The expression indicated not only the racial belonging of the members, but also the recognition of Candomblé as a receptive religion to their community.
Portrait of Wilson Santos (1982) by Maria Lúcia Santos . Private collection of Wilson Santos.Geledés Instituto da Mulher Negra | Rede de Historiadores Negros | Acervo Cultne
The members of Adé Dudu came from very diverse social backgrounds. Among them, Wilson Santos was an economist and civil servant. Ermeval da Hora was a factory worker. Tosta Passarinho has alternated in temporary jobs since he returned from a self-exile in different countries of Latin America during the 1970s. Shortly after the foundation, the journalist Hamilton Vieira also joined the group.
Between March and September of 1981, the Adé Dudu held its first activity. The group carried out a research on the condition of black homossexuals in Salvador, based on 102 interviews made in the spaces where they circulated in the city. Among bars, nightclubs, squares, avenues and beaches, they produced an important panorama of their community during the period of redemocratization. The starting point of the interviews were the provocations made by Hamilton Vieira two years earlier in his text “Além de preto, bicha”. The survey results were released in a printed version, distributed in the activities of the Day of Black Consciousness, in November of that year.
Adé Dudu's research began right after the 1981 carnival. The party attracted to Salvador many queer people from smaller cities, where LGBT+ sociability was more restricted.
The organization of the carnival employed a large number of Black Homossexuals, as pointed out by Adé Dudu in their researches. They ussually used to work in positions that were low-paid, despite being central to the party, such as sewing costumes and setting up the decorations
Contrary to this logic, Passarinho were years later composer of the song “Sueños lejos”, recorded by Olodum years later, in 1993.
Hamilton Vieira at Bloco Filhos de Gandhi by Rejane Carneiro. Edenice Santana Private collection.Geledés Instituto da Mulher Negra | Rede de Historiadores Negros | Acervo Cultne
Homossexuals circuits (2021) by Gabriel Oliveira's private collectionGeledés Instituto da Mulher Negra | Rede de Historiadores Negros | Acervo Cultne
The queer city
The memories of former Adé Dudu’s members reveal a network of safe spaces for the community to socialize, organized, for example, around the Porto da Barra beach and the Cemitério Sucupira. The latter - a parking lot that existed in Tomé de Souza square, in Salvador’s downtown - served as a meeting point not only for homossexuals, but for different groups, such as the members of the Black Movement. Wilson and Ermeval also recall the apartments collectively rented by LGBT+ groups circa the Sucupira. Those were places for meetings, parties, affection and acceptance, where people could live their sexuality freely. Near Castro Alves square was the apartament Cinco, rented by Wilson along with friends. The apartment shared by Ermeval was at Rua Alfredo de Brito, 22.
Portrait of Floripes. December (1979) by Ferreira S. Neto. Antônio Ferreira S. Neto Private ColletctionGeledés Instituto da Mulher Negra | Rede de Historiadores Negros | Acervo Cultne
“Everyone stopped to see Floripes”
The daily life of this community was also surrounded by insecurity and violence. Ermeval da Hora recalls the life of Floripes, a forerunner of the LGBT+ people resistance in the city of Salvador. Floripes was a black transgender who worked ironing clothes for fancy shops on Rua Chile. Her self-determination emancipated her from the bonds of gender. But, her murder in 1984 exposed how dignity was denied to transgender people. Her killer justified his crime by saying that Floripe’s happiness bothered him. This act resonates till the present, when life expectancy for a transgender person in Brazil is 35 years. Such expectation is even lower to black-trans people, due to racist and transphobic violence and poor access to fundamental rights and public policies.
Portrait of Ermeval da Hora and Tosta Passarinho (1993) by Umbelino Silva. Ermeval da Hora Private CollectionGeledés Instituto da Mulher Negra | Rede de Historiadores Negros | Acervo Cultne
During the 102 interviews for their first work, Adé Dudu was able to know better their own world: the world of Black Homossexuals in Salvador. Among their conclusions, they could attest the constant hesitation of people in the community to openly talk about LGBTphobia and racism. The act of dialoguing turned the research into a space for the elaboration and dissemination of an agenda of shared problems. Despite these actions, the presence of cisgender women in the group, as well as transgender people, did not occour during its exhistence. Even so, their problems were also treated in Adé Dudu’s writings. These absences are an indicator of the difficulty of integration of the different social groups that formed the Homossexual Moviment at that time.
The first propositions
A month after the creation of Adé Dudu, Tosta Passarinho traveled to the II MNU Congress in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais. Despite the disbelief in the self-organization of Black Homossexuals by many activists, Passarinho presented a set of propositions by Adé Dudu to be implemented by all sections of the MNU in a panel with the theme “Homosexuality and Machism”. His considerations included to map homossexuals in the Black activism groups, to increase internal debates about sexism, and to initiate systematic dialogue with groups in the Homossexual Movement. Although there is little evidence of the execution of those ideas by other groups, Adé Dudu carried out these actions autonomously during its years of existence.
Demonstration during the SBPC meeting (1981) by Juca Martins. Arquivo Edgard Leuenroth (AEL/Unicamp)Geledés Instituto da Mulher Negra | Rede de Historiadores Negros | Acervo Cultne
A different way of make science
Between July 8 and 15, 1981, the 33rd Meeting of the Sociedade Brasileira para o Progresso da Ciência (SBPC) took place in Salvador, on the UFBA campus. That year's meeting proposed a debate with civil society, with activities coordinated by Indigenous, Feminist, Black and Homossexual movements. At the event, the first Fórum Nacional de Entidades Negras took place. It was the first moment that Adé Dudu was introduced as a group to other organisations of the Black Movement, being applauded with entusiasm by the audience. According to one of its reports: “there were lots of “frills”, and many people learned a new way of make science: relaxed science, with samba, lots of beer, fags walking around, dykes at the public demonstration of the Homossexual Moviment, march of the MNU (proposed by members of Adé Dudu), it was a different way of doing science and politics.”
Among the activists registered in this photograph, the paulistano choreographer Ismael Ivo (1955-2021) appears distributing pamphlets. At the event, Ivo presented a soiree of Black poetry with Thereza Santos (1930-2012). Although he was not a member of Adé Dudu, he and other Black Homossexuals were present at that SBPC contributing to the anti-racist struggle.
“Our Black and Homossexual greetings”
The SBPC was the stage for the articulation for the 1st Encontro de Negros do Norte and Nordeste (Black Encounter of North and Northeast - ENNN). It took place in Recife between September 5 and 7 of that year. At its opening table, Ermeval da Hora read a manifesto prepared by the group, in which he invited those present to reflect on how the prejudices against Black Homossexuals used to create obstacles in various spaces, that included even social movements.
In the newspaper Nêgo, edited by the MNU of Bahia, Tosta Passarinho drew attention to the constant presence of the members of Adé Dudu in all activities of the event. During its three days, in addition to the problem of Black Homosexuals, the event also debated: Police Violence; Forms of action of Black entities; Black Movement and the political parties; Black Cultural Resistance; the National Day of Black Consciousness; Black Woman and Memorial Zumbi. This last one had Passarinho as part of its Deliberative Council. In the following years, Adé Dudu were part of the ENNN held in João Pessoa-PB and São Luís-MA. Through those exchanges, the Adé Dudu had direct contact with Black Homossexuals from different states, inspiring them with the group’s ideas.
Nêgo Newspaper, n.º 6 (1984-06) by Collection of NegritosGeledés Instituto da Mulher Negra | Rede de Historiadores Negros | Acervo Cultne
“Who are you?”
At the end of the III ENNN, it was decided that the Black Movement organizations from the region would hold state meetings in the following months. That was how the 1st Encontro de Negros da Bahia (Meeting of Blacks of Bahia) was born. It took place between September 9th and 11th, 1983, bringing together more than 600 black men and women. The members of Adé Dudu played a fundamental role in the construction of the event, which was also organized by the MNU, in addition to neighborhood associations, carnival groups and student groups. During the panel “Black people in Bahian society”, Adé Dudu members read the provocative manifesto “Who are you?”, in which they exposed the normalization of the practices of racism and LGBTphobia. At the same panel, it was discussed the urgency of teaching the History of Africa and the History of Brazil in schools from the perspective of the Black experience.
Portrait of Hamilton Vieira. undated by Rejane Carneiro. Private collection of Edenice SantanaGeledés Instituto da Mulher Negra | Rede de Historiadores Negros | Acervo Cultne
In January 1984, the 2nd Encontro Brasileiro de Homossexuais (Brazilian Meeting of Homosexuals) took place in Salvador. It was organized by Adé Dudu and Grupo Gay da Bahia. Among the event’s debates, there were the “depathologization” of homosexuality, the construction of anti-discrimination legislation, the legalization of “gay marriage”, the positive treatment of the community in the press and the inclusion of sex education in schools. At the event, Hamilton Vieira presented a paper on the history of the Homosexual Movement in Brazil, in which he analyzes its mobilization as part of the struggle for fundamental rights and against the dictatorship, carried out in association with Black, Indigenous, Feminist and Workers' movements. Later, he published the text in printed version under the pseudonym Estevão dos Santos, which he used in the Black press at the risk of jeopardizing his job as a journalist.
Program of V Encontro de Negros do Norte e Nordeste (1985) by Arquivo Nacional. Fundo Serviço Nacional de Informação. BR DFANBSB V8.MIC, GNC.PPP.85007866Geledés Instituto da Mulher Negra | Rede de Historiadores Negros | Acervo Cultne
In June 1985, the V Encontro de Negros do Norte e Nordeste took place in Salvador. Adé Dudu, MNU, Grupo Cultural “Os Negões”, Olodum and Núcleo Cultural Niger Okan organized the event. Its main theme was “Black Community: land, power and reality”. In this meeting, the debates about the National Constituent Assembly had great projection. In the printed program, Adé Dudu greeted visitors from other states with the expression in Yoruba “E Káàbò”: Welcome.
Program of V Encontro de Negros do Norte e Nordeste (1985) by Arquivo Nacional. Fundo Serviço Nacional de Informação. BR DFANBSB V8.MIC, GNC.PPP.85007866Geledés Instituto da Mulher Negra | Rede de Historiadores Negros | Acervo Cultne
The constitution of a correspondence network that would integrate the Black Movement and the Homosexual Movement was consolidated by Adé Dudu from P.O. Box 6.429. At the end of its first year of activities, the group sent to members of other organizations a New Year's card in the form of poetry, in which they reiterated their willingness to wide and continuously struggle against all forms of oppression.
It was through this network that circulated the results of the survey “Homossexuais Negros” (1981). In the following years, Adé Dudu published two other researches. In “Diga aí, Bicha?” (1982) they presented interviews with men who were active in the Homosexual Movement, along with analysis of violence against the community. Among them, there were activists from organized movements, as well as individuals who publicly affirmed their sexuality, and those who spoke freely about their sexual practices. Attitudes that the group also considered as political acts.
In the research “A participação dos homossexuais no Movimento Negro Brasileiro” (1984), which had its report signed by Wilson Santos, the group presented the results of the mapping they made of Homossexuals in the Black Movement, along with interviews with activists. In conversations with men and women of different sexual orientations, they perceived a change in the attitude of some individuals towards the presence of Black Homossexuals within the Movement.
The results of these surveys circulated widely. For example, it was from these networks that Nestor Perlongher came into contact with the work of Adé Dudu. Perlogher was a white anarchist and homosexual activist in exile, that were one of the founders of the Frente de Liberación Homosexual in Argentine. In Brazil, the ideas of the Bahian group served as a reference in his Ph.D. work, defended in 1985, in the part he analyzes the daily racism in the lives of sex workers.
Letter from Ivan Gabriel to Evandro de Oliveira (1983) by private collection of Rafael Petry TrapGeledés Instituto da Mulher Negra | Rede de Historiadores Negros | Acervo Cultne
The biography that never existed
In one of these exchanges of correspondence, Ivan Gabriel, a former member of the GNH-SP, was an intermediary for a research project by Adé Dudu. In 1983, Gabriel wrote a letter to Evandro, brother of Eduardo Oliveira e Oliveira, seeking collaboration to carry out a biographical research about him. Eduardo de Oliveira e Oliveira (1923-1980) was a Black Homossexual, a sociologist, musician, playwrighter and activist. When he lived in São Paulo, he founded in 1971, along with Thereza Santos, the Center for Culture and Black Art (Centro de Cultura e Arte Negra-CECAN), an organization that years later would become central to the creation of the MNU. As a researcher, he shared his concerns with an intense network of black students in the Americas in his quest to produce a “Science for Blacks”.
Portrait of Eduardo de Oliveira Oliveira (1970) by Raymond Fraimond. Private Collection of Rafael Petry TrappGeledés Instituto da Mulher Negra | Rede de Historiadores Negros | Acervo Cultne
The research on Eduardo Oliveira e Oliveira was never made. But the contact mediated by Ivan Gabriel reveals not only Adé Dudu's national mobilization effort, but also the commitment to the use of research as a tool to understand the legacy of Black Homossexuals. At that time, they already recognized the silence about the queer trajectories was part of the “double prejudice” that affected their community, and that the effort to narrate their lives was a way to guarantee the right to memory of Black LGBT+ people.
Tosta Passarinho and Adelina Pinto Valesquez coordinating the Amoreiras neighborhood association in Itaparica-BA (1986) by Private collection of Ermeval da HoraGeledés Instituto da Mulher Negra | Rede de Historiadores Negros | Acervo Cultne
For the right for Black LGBT+ memories
Adé Dudu's activities declined without much fuss, but as a result of the transformations and material limitations of the Black Movement. The trajectories of its members as activists continued in different ways. Tosta Passarinho (1953-2016) remained active throughout his life in the Black Movement and neighborhood associations.
Wilson Santos completed his Law school, continuing his activism in the Black Movement and political parties.
Ermeval da Hora completed his Administration and Pedagogy courses, and worked on teaching, educational policy and as city council (1993-1997) in Itaparica-BA.
Hamilton Vieira's work as a journalist was fundamental for the inclusion of the Black lives experience in the local press since the 1980s. Until his death, he dedicated himself to anti-racist education projects at the city of Lauro de Freitas-BA. The bounds produced among Adé Dudu’s members are the testimony of memories of struggles and affections that are part of History.
Portrait of Ermeval da Hora (2021) by Private collection of Ermeval da HoraGeledés Instituto da Mulher Negra | Rede de Historiadores Negros | Acervo Cultne
40 years of Adé Dudu (2021) by Acervo privado Adé Dudu SempreGeledés Instituto da Mulher Negra | Rede de Historiadores Negros | Acervo Cultne
Adé Dudu, 40 years
It was in the struggle for the right for memory that the Tosta Passarinho award was established in 2017, granted by MNU LGBT+ collective to individuals and initiatives inheriting the legacy of this brave activist. The collective - that today Wilson “Mandela” Santos and Ermeval da Hora are part of - promoted a series of activities to commemorate the 40 years of the foundation of Adé Dudu on March 14, 2021. The timing was opportune: in the last elections, the country registered the largest number of LGBT+ people occupying elected positions in its history, with emphasis on the firm performance of Black transgender representatives. This unprecedented presence in institutional politics coexists with new forms of racist and LGBT-phobic violence, posing new challenges for the community.
This panel is part of the project of virtual exhibition Our Histories: lives, struggles and knowledges of Black People, made in a paternship between Rede de Historiadoras Negras e Historiadores Negros, Geledés – Instituto da Mulher Negra and Acervo Cultne.
Editorial Comission: Ana Flávia Magalhães Pinto, Bethania Pereira, Bruno Pinheiro, Carlos Silva Júnior, Elson Rabelo, Francisco Phelipe Cunha Paz, Idalina Maria Almeida de Freitas, Iracélli da Cruz Alves, Jonatas Roque Ribeiro, Leonardo Angelo da Silva, Marcus Vinicius de Oliveira e Maria Cláudia Cardoso Ferreira.
Curatorship and research: Ana Flávia Magalhães Pinto, Bethania Pereira, Bruno Pinheiro, Elson Rabelo, Iracélli da Cruz Alves, Leonardo ngelo da Silva, Marcus Vinicius de Oliveira
Text: Bruno Pinheiro, Elson Rabelo e Marcus Vinicius de Oliveira
Audio Screenplay: Bruno Pinheiro, Elson Rabelo e Marcus Vinicius de Oliveira e Leonardo Angelo da Silva
Audio Editing: Leonardo Angelo da Silva
Production: Ana Flávia Magalhães Pinto, Bruno Pinheiro, Elson Rabelo e Marcus Vinicius de Oliveira
Translation: Bethania Pereira e Bruno Pinheiro
Technical Review: Ana Flávia Magalhães Pinto and Bruno Pinheiro
Management: Natália de Sena Carneiro
Special thanks:Wilson “Mandela” Santos, Ermeval da Hora, Acervo Bajubá, Acervo CEDOC LGBT+ do Grupo Dignidade, Acervo Euvaldo Macedo Filho, Acervo Negritos, Adson Brito, Aldair Rodrigues, Al Eleazar Fun, Ana Célia Santos, Antônio Ferreira S. Neto, Ari Sacramento, Arquivo Edgard Leuenroth-Unicamp, Arquivo Nacional, Coletivo LGBT+ do MNU, Daniel Santana, Edenice Santana, Gabriel Oliveira, James Green, Laraapio, Marcelo Ricardo, Maria Elena Pereira, Rafael Petry Trap.