The Summer Olympics start in Rio de Janeiro on Aug. 5 and will attract hundreds of thousands of visitors from all parts of the world. For LGBT people making the trek, the advice is: Be careful out there
From the New York Times:

Nearly 1,600 people have died in hate-motivated attacks in the past four and half years, according to Grupo Gay da Bahia, which tracks the deaths through news articles. By its tally, a gay or transgender person is killed almost every day in this nation of 200 million.
"And these numbers represent only the tip of the iceberg of violence and bloodshed," said Eduardo Michels, the group’s data manager, adding that the Brazilian police often omit anti-gay animus when compiling homicide reports. …
Here in Rio de Janeiro, host to the coming Summer Olympics, fear of violent crime is on many people’s minds. Amid a crushing recession and soaring unemployment, street crime is up 24 percent this year and homicides have increased by more than 15 percent.
Rio has long been a popular destination for gay travelers and Brazilian society has presented itself as open and tolerant. Same-sex marriage was basically legalized in 2013.
The surge in anti-LGBT violence has been attributed to a backlash to tolerance in a country that is staunchly Catholic with a strong evangelical movement. The country has also been dealing with a constitutional crisis that has its president out of office facing impeachment, rampant corruption, a struggling economy and the spread of the Zika virus. Add in reports that rowers and other athletes will be competing in sewage-filled water and these are shaping up to be the Bummer Olympics.
Crime is awful in Rio, for anyone regardless of sexual orientation. Rio police this week greeted travelers at the main airport with signs that read: "Welcome to Hell. Police and firefighters don't get paid, whoever comes to Rio de Janeiro will not be safe."

This does not mean that LGBT people should cower in fear, but just use common sense. I asked a gay Brazilian friend if two men could be safe holding hands in public and he replied, "By Ipanema, Copacabana and the gay area yes, but still they are going to receive some looks."

There will be a huge security presence in Rio during the Games, especially in tourist areas, so the irony might be that travelers will be safer in the two weeks of the Games than LGBT residents are the rest of the year. Despite all the gains LGBT people have made, we still need to take precautions everywhere we travel. Better safe than sorry.