It was colorful. It was political. It was flamboyant. It was touching. And I wouldn't have expected anything less when about 100,000 people converged in the center of Mexico City on June 27, for the 37th edition of the Marcha por el Orgullo Gay, the annual Mexico City LGBT pride march and festival that grows in scope every year.
As one of the world's largest cities and Mexico's cultural, political and creative hub, Mexico City is good at making bold statements. And this is especially true when it comes to public events -- including protests, parades, festivals and celebrations. A couple weeks ago I shared photos on my travel blog, LatinFlyer.com, from the Mexican edition of the World Naked Bike Ride, which attracted a few hundred participants who shed their clothing and cycled to protest vehicular traffic. But the Mexico City LGBT pride parade and festival is even bigger. It's yet another example of Mexico City's creative, progressive spirit. And this year, there was even more reason to celebrate: On June 3, the Supreme Court of Justice in Mexico ruled that the norms that used to ban same-sex marriages in Mexico are unconstitutional in all states across Mexico (Mexico City had already allowed same-sex marriages, but most other states in Mexico didn't).
The Mexico City gay pride parade starts every year at the Angel de la Independencia, an iconic monument, with a show and lots of socializing among the participants. Some marchers wear extravagant costumes that range from drag queen to carnival finery. Others go for the sexy route, with minimal clothing possible. Still others carry signs with important messages -- including criticism of the Catholic church's stance against LGBT rights. Organized groups this year included employees of Banamex (one of Mexico's largest banks) and Google, as well as Madres Lesbianas en Mexico (Lesbian Mothers in Mexico) and the first-ever participation of a group of LGBT deaf people. Ages ranged from kids with their families to teenagers to senior citizens (one especially energetic drag queen, dressed in traditional Mexican garb, proudly announced that he was 75 years old as we snapped his photograph).
The parade ran down the grand boulevard called Paseo de la Reforma to the Zócalo, one of the world's largest city squares, located in the heart of Mexico City's historic heart. Live music and festivities continued there throughout the afternoon, after which many revelers moved on to local bars and restaurants (it was super easy to find gay pride flags at gay-friendly establishments on a day like this).
If you're thinking of attending and want to plan a Mexico vacation around LGBT pride, keep in mind that the Mexico City LGBT pride march usually takes place on the last Saturday of June.