Tom Phillips – The Guardian, 07/11/2011
The theatre lights dim and a Brazilian supermodel takes to the stage, tanned legs emerging from a skintight miniskirt.
In the audience, an A to Z of Rio de Janeiro‘s great and good: pop stars, sports stars, soap stars and would-be stars, flanked by an army of local paparazzi. Clutching a microphone, the model addresses the crowd. “My name is Lea and I am a transsexual,” she says, triggering a frenzy of applause and whistles.
The model in question is Lea T, Brazil‘s first transsexual supermodel. And this is the champagne-soaked launch party for Rio’s inaugural diversity week – a celebration of the city’s cultural and ethnic differences and an attempt to position Rio as the global capital of gay tourism.