By Museu da Diversidade Sexual

Love in the Streets

Discover the love stories from the homeless community of São Paulo

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Samara e Edivaldo Santos (2020-10) by André GiorgiMuseu da Diversidade Sexual

Love in the Streets

Love in the Streets shows that among the chaos and the struggle for dignity of the homeless of the city of São Paulo, love stories exist. 

Love in the Streets

The exhibition brings to the front stage and gives voice to people who live on the margins of society, living misery and intense feelings, they still find a way to love and develop affection.

Exhibition in 3 languages: Photography, Video and Text, was inspired by the book “The Thief's Journal”, by Jean Genet, from 1949. Genet was a French writer, poet, dramatist and activist. Gay and son of a prostitute, he narrates his life in the period he lived as a homeless in Paris and Europe as a thief and a prostitute, experiencing misery, betrayals, robberies and love in the streets.

Samara e Edivaldo Santos (2020-10) by André GiorgiMuseu da Diversidade Sexual

More than seven decades have passed and, regardless of the time, when it comes to love, stories repeat themselves. Here, our protagonist is the love of homeless LGBTQI+ couples who live on the streets of São Paulo.

"Slowly I forced myself to regard this miserable life as a necessity that I searched for... ... I wanted to affirm it in its most exact squalor, and the sordidness signs became for me signs of greatness."2021, There is Love on the streets of São Paulo.

Thiago e Mauricio (2020-10) by André GiorgiMuseu da Diversidade Sexual

Thiago and Maurício

Thiago, 31, son of a police officer, fell into the world of addictions and, for years, lived hostage to crack, cocaine, alcohol, which led him to a state of depression and without any expectations.

Away from drugs for 5 years, Thiago went to live at the Boraceia shelter and there he met Maurício, but it took five months for him to fall into Thiago's charms.

The request for a relationship happened in the Bela Vista Square and they have been together for a year, living in a tent in the center of São Paulo.

“Understanding that the other has its flaws and qualities, that he will hit and miss. Love resists all social, political and historical issues. He overcomes all kinds of barriers“. Says Thiago

“The love that human beings seem to feel for one another tortured me at the time. If two chaps exchanged a greeting or a smile in passing, I would retreat to the farthest edges of the world.

The glances exchanged by the two friends—and sometimes their words—were the subtlest emanation of a ray of love coming from the heart of each." Genet, Diary of a Thief. 

Jacira Rodrigues e Edineia Aparecida (2020-10) by André GiorgiMuseu da Diversidade Sexual

Jacira Rodrigues and Edinéia Aparecida

The bar that Jacira worked, which is on the street where Edineia lives, was the meeting point of a love story that has lasted for 8 years. Edineia, 38, realized that Jacira, 53, was the woman of her life when the two kissed, behind the wall, hiding in the bar.

Jacira even finds it difficult to explain what love is. “I can't understand it, but I know it's love because I feel it.


To draw to himself the most unexpected, the most unhappy situations, to take upon himself the most humiliating confessions, which are the richest.


The vastest intelligence could be attributed to the lucid and sympathetic witness of so many wretched confessions. Perhaps the quest of this intelligence also led me to those incredible adventures of the heart.”

Genet, Diary of a Thief.

Bruna e Carlito (2020-10) by André GiorgiMuseu da Diversidade Sexual

Bruna and Carlito

Bruna and Carlito met at the square and have been together for about 6 months. Bruna's tent was on Cruzeiro do Sul Avenue and, between a joint and a drink, she invited him for a first night together.

Since then, they never left each other. They just split up to work. After 22 years in jail, Carlito only wants to change his life by collecting recyclable materials with his cart.

The couple's complicity is in the bath in the Tietê waterspout, at the time of cooking and in the dream of marriage – they even wear a wedding ring, an exchange for a watch.

Carlito is sure that Bruna is the love of his life. Every day they live a love story.

“I fell in love with the conversation, the way he treats me every day. I can't live away from him. I don't see myself without him”.  says Bruna

“...I saw male couples in which the more loving of the two would say to the other:

- “I'll take the basket this morning". He picked up the basket and left. One day Salvador gently plucked the basket from my hands and said to me:

- “I'm going to beg for you.”

It was snowing. He went out into the freezing street, wearing a torn and tattered jacket (…)

An immense — and brotherly — love filled out my body and bore me towards Salvador.”

Genet, Diary of a Thief.

Maria Eduarda e Wanderson (2020-10) by André GiorgiMuseu da Diversidade Sexual

Maria Eduarda and Wanderson

Maria Eduarda and Wanderson met at the hostel where they lived. It was in the exchange of glances that interest began and they saw that there was a chemistry going on.

The proof that it was true love came when Maria Eduarda left the hostel to live as a homeless and Wanderson went with her to live in a tent in the Armênia Square, in São Paulo.

Today they live in Patriarch's Square. But the couple is thinking about getting off the streets and renting a room to have their privacy. The idea is that Maria Eduarda apply to get benefits from the social program, trans-citizenship to make this dream come true, while they are unemployed.

Wanderson says that for him love is as the priest says at weddings “in joy, sadness, health and illness we have to be together. It's not just the good times in life, it's the bad times too." It's a feeling you don't just think about yourself.

"What I know about him: tenderness, sweetness, vulnerability, rather than qualities and weaknesses (…) However, in order to love him more than myself I have to feel that he is weak and fragile so as never to be tempted (against my will) to desert him.” Genet, Diary of a Thief.

Nicole e Vagner (2020-10) by André GiorgiMuseu da Diversidade Sexual

Nicole and Vagner

Gabriela Nicole, 24 years old, born in Amapá, met Vagner Tadeu, 35, at Pateo do Colégio, in São Paulo, through a mutual friend, Rebeca, who ended up introducing the two in a donation event day in downtown.

We still haven't been able to get off the streets, but our dream is “to build a house and leave this place. I like her more than myself, to tell you the truth"

The couple lives in love, cannot stay away from each other and define love “as a true feeling, of purity, without falsehood and betrayal. Respect each other, walk side by side, be together for whatever comes and goes“.

Nicole e Vagner (2020-10) by André GiorgiMuseu da Diversidade Sexual

“His presence drove me wild. His absence worried me (...) I grew jealous of all the young bums who hung around the water−front.” Genet, Diary of a Thief.

Pérola e Gabriel (2021-10) by André GiorgiMuseu da Diversidade Sexual

Pérola and Gabriel

It was love at first sight. Gabriel and Pérola met at Pátio do Colégio and have been together for 6 months. Gabriel already lived in the streets of the region and Pérola arrived later, coming from Casa Verde district.

“My heart raced the first time I saw Gabriel. Then I had to talk to him". says Perola

The couple says it was pure chemistry, because Gabriel felt the same - "I saw her from afar, she was setting up the tent and it was love at first sight". says Gabriel

They think about building a life together, getting off the street, renting a little house near Gabriel's family, working in a formal job. 
“Love is a very crazy thing. My heart races whenever I see him, always, always.” says Pérola

“My gaze is filled with love and does not perceive, nor did it perceive then, the striking features which cause individuals to be considered as objets (...)

Every remark I hear, even the most absurd, seems to me to come just at the right moment. I have thus gone through penitentiaries and prisons, known low dives, bars and highways without being astonished.” Genet, Diary of a Thief.

Samara e Edivaldo Santos (2020-10) by André GiorgiMuseu da Diversidade Sexual

Samara and Edivaldo dos Santos

Samara, 31, and Edivaldo navigate through a story of “bad romance”.

Edivaldo came from a violent relationship, was even stabbed in the chest, lived 22 years in cracolândia, lived as a drug addict.

Between slaps and kisses, dialogue is the peaceful point between the couple. Sometimes they get hurt due to aggression, so Edivaldo and Samara established agreements on what they can or cannot do in the relationship. “Today, everything that happens, we sit and talk”.

They dream of getting married, getting off the streets, having a home and a job. Edivaldo goes out every day with his cart collecting cardboard so they don't miss out on food. Today they have a family with their two dogs and four cats.

"The more I love Lucien, the more I lose my taste for theft and thieves. (...)
My love for Lucien acquaints me with the loathsome sweetness of nostalgia."
Genet, Diário de um Ladrão.

Learn a little more about these stories.

DATASHEET 
Love in the Streets

GENERAL DIRECTOR OF ART 
Hector Werneck 

EXECUTIVE PRODUCTION 
Sandra Tiemi Yokota 

TEXTS 
Sandra Tiemi Yokota 
Maria Carolina Vilar Balro 

VIDEOS 
Lucas Mendes 

PHOTOGRAPHER 
André Giorgi

Credits: Story

SAO PAULO'S STATE GOVERNMENT 

JOÃO DORIA 
Governor 

SECRETARY OF CULTURE AND CREATIVE ECONOMY 

SÉRGIO SÁ LEITÃO 
Secretary 

CLAUDIA PEDROZO 
Assistant Secretary 

FREDERICO MASCARENHAS 
Chief of Staff 

CHRISTIAN LIMA BRAGA 
Creative Economy Coordinator 

AMIGOS DA ARTE 

JOSE GREGORI 
Chairman of the Administrative Council 

DANIELLE NIGROMONTE 
General Director 

GLAUCIA VANINI COSTA 
Financial Administrative Director 

JOSÉ MAURO GNASPINI 
Art and Culture Director

MUSEUM OF SEXUAL DIVERSITY

DIRECTOR 
Franco Reinaudo 

EDUCATION CENTER 
Leonardo Stephens Domingues, Rodrigo Alcântara da Silva and Cassandra Moira Costa Moura

MEMORY CENTER
Leonardo Arouca 

PRODUCTION
Marisis Pacheco 

ASSISTANT CONSULTANT
Tatto Oliveira 

PRESS OFFICE
Pevi Communication 
Pridea Communication

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.