Brazilian actor Amaury Lorenzo has revealed that he received death threats and abuse after his character shared a same-sex kiss on a recent episode of the soap opera Terra e Paixão.
In an Instagram story post shared by Out, the actor disclosed: “I’ve received death threats over the course of the night, besides offenses regarding who I am and what my job is…Last night, this morning, and this afternoon were all difficult. Hellish.”
The actor added, “as an artist, I emanate love. And people who follow me also emanate love. Not death”.
Lorenzo plays the role in the soap of Ramiro. The character is a closeted cowboy who enters a relationship with Kelvin, an openly gay activist played by actor Diego Martins. Their blossoming romance has proven popular among fans, who affectionately refer to the couple as “Kelmiro.”
Highlighting Brazil’s disturbing prevalence of homophobia
However, when Ramiro and Kelvin finally kissed in the 12 December episode, Lorenzo says he was bombarded with death threats and hate messages. His post highlighted the disturbing prevalence of homophobia in Brazil. The country has one of the world’s highest rates of violence against LGBTQ+ people.
Lorenzo came out in October this year. He said at the time: “I know that the public is curious to know about my sexuality. I have no problem with that. The only issue is when the subject comes above my work as an actor.”
Explaining his decision to come out to the public, Lorenzo added: “I’m a theatre teacher and I had three students murdered for being LGBTQIA+.
“One was killed by his father. I welcomed a friend into my home who was beaten for being with another man on the street. I’ve had former students expelled by evangelical parents for being gay. How can I not be in this fight?”
A dossier published in 2022 by a Brazilian NGO revealed that 273 violent deaths of LGBTQ+ individuals occurred in Brazil that year, with 228 classified as murders. This translates to one LGBTQ+ person murdered every 32 hours on average.