Tourists visiting Sugar Loaf Mountain, the second-most visited attraction in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil — following Christ the Redeemer — are complaining about a photo on display of a gay couple kissing.
At the mountain, visitors take a cable car up through the scenic locale.
Before boarding, they can take their photo in front of a green screen and have them printed out once they reach the top of the mountain.
When a gay couple visiting from Minas Gerais, they happily had their photo taken — and kissed for the camera.
When they reached the top, 29-year-old manager of the photo company, Fotográfica, Pedro Lotti, asked the couple if he could use their photo as an example.
They said yes and so Lotti proudly displayed their framed photo front and center.
He did it purposely, too.
‘I did it specifically because roughly 70 percent of our employees here are gay, and they experience serious problems here because of this,’ he told The Intercept.
Lotti had noticed that gay couples hesitated at the photo op.
‘Always, at the entrance, I noticed that same-sex couples were cautious or scared to touch, hold hands, or kiss for their photos,’ he explained. ‘And they would walk to the photo area, and then walk away, and return various times, obviously afraid of how people would react.’
Then trouble came
As soon as Lotti displayed the photo, he and other employees began receiving complaints.
‘The large majority of people who react to the photo do so quite poorly. We get complaints every day,’ he said. ‘They typically complain, specifically, that the photo is in the line of vision for children, and are angry that their kids specifically have seen the photo.’
Lotti believes the problem stems with parents.
He explained: ‘Depending on how the parents respond, that determines whether the kids react positively or negatively.’
Fortunately, Lotti has no plans to remove the photo. The counter also displays photos of heterosexual couples kissing and he wants to make sure LGBTI people know they’re welcome.
H/t: The Intercept