Danilo Da Costa
“Gays Brasileiros in the U.S." also known as “GayBraUS” was the frontier of the San Francisco Bay Area wellness network and a social activity group for gay, bisexual, and transgender Brazilians.
GayBraUS was started in 2009 by three founding members: David Araujo, Danilo Da Costa, and Eduardo Francisco. The purpose was to provide support to gay/bi/trans-Brazilians and Portuguese speakers with opportunities to improve their health and connect with their peers, along with information on social services access.
At the time, many of these members were driven into isolation, depression, and anxiety due to the challenges faced by LGBTQ+ immigrants and especially asylum. Much of the time and dedication was towards helping members understand their surroundings and culture with living in the United States away from their birthplace.
In 2013, a Portuguese-speaking support group was created at AGUILAS: El Ambiente, at the San Francisco LGBT Center. The group was facilitated by: David Araujo as a co-facilitator and Paulo Rebello as a facilitator. The support groups were intentional in helping Portuguese speakers who are LGBTQ members. The group discussions focused on combating isolation with their monthly “Share and Support” meetings. Every third Thursday night of the month, members would gather for dinner to discuss various issues affecting the Brazilian community in the Bay Area. Topics vary from month to month and have included group-centered issues like housing, finances, identity, spirituality, and sexuality.
History of GayBraUS:
2008: Carta de San Francisco: A letter was sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Brazil with a request for the Brazilian community title in the San Francisco Bay Area, and the creation of the GayBraUS networking agency.
2010: The first monthly meetings group was held at the Main San Francisco Public Library,
(January – December).
2011: GayBraUS group transitioned to and met for a few months at Instituto de La Raza of San Francisco.
2011-2013: GayBraUS Informational Blog started.
2013: GayBraUS group transitioned to AGUILAS and hosted their first support group in Portuguese.
2019: The first AGUILAS/GayBraUS tent was showcased at the SF Pride.
2019: Whatsapp and online groups were created to support the increase of new members.
2020: A ‘Prevention with Positives’ support group was started at AGUILAS for HIV+ members.
2020: AGUILAS & GayBraUs participated at SF PRIDE along with introducing superstar Pabllo Vittar at the main event stage.
Past Group Facilitators: David Araujo, Paulo Rebelo
Current Facilitators: Renato M. Talhadas