BUENOS AIRES – Thousands of revelers marched on Saturday through the streets of Buenos Aires for the annual pride parade to celebrate queer diversity and also demand rights for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) community.
The 28th edition of the parade converted almost the entire Argentine capital, Buenos Aires, into a venue to celebrate freedom as participants began to gather in the morning at the Plaza de Mayo.
They marched towards the National Congress building in the afternoon via the Avenida de Mayo that was flooded with multicolored flags and floats and music.
While the first pride march in 1992 was attended by only 300 people, on Saturday thousands, mostly young, took to the streets to dance, celebrate sexual diversity and demand a country “without institutional and religious violence” and an end to “hate crimes.”
In Argentina, the march is held in November commemorating the establishment of “Nuestro Mundo” (Our World), the first gay group to begin operating in the South American country in 1967.
“For us, it is important because this (is the result of) years and years of people who fought, and we must continue to fight and achieve many rights to make society truly diverse and equal for everyone,” Ramiro Velasco, one of the participants, told EFE.
Velasco has been attending the event for over 10 years since he came out of the closet. But the latest edition was special for him because it is the first time that he and his partner, Lionel Benin, have brought their daughter.
“I am delighted that there are so many people, every year we are more and it is a party. And one can tell that the people in the street, those not participating in the march, view it differently, there are increasingly fewer people who look down on it,” he added.
The event also had a political presence with floats supporting Frente de Todos, the Peronist coalition led by Alberto Fernandez, who won the general elections held in the country on Oct. 27 and will be sworn in as the next president on Dec. 10.
The marchers demanded laws to make abortion legal, safe and free abortion for pregnant women, eradicate sexism, xenophobia and racism, and the implementation of a comprehensive sex education curriculum.
The parade also called for compliance with the trans employment quota and an end to violence against diversity and dissent.
Nelson, a Venezuelan national residing in the Argentine capital for two years, told EFE that it was a “relief” to be able to come out on the streets and celebrate this day.
“Here in Buenos Aires there is still a lot missing, but in other parts of the world, it is impossible to go out and march, to express your freedom and your desire to love someone. There’s still a lot to be done,” he said.