Published on June 26th, 2016 | by Mark Chesnut
LGBT Pride in Mexico City is a Colorful Celebration of Gay Visibility
More than 200,000 people took to the streets of Mexico City on Saturday, June 25 for the 38th edition of the Marcha del Orgullo LGBTTTI, the largest LGBT pride march in Mexico. Among the officials were ambassadors from the United States, Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, Canada, France and the United Kingdom. And Mexico’s president, Enrique Peña Nieto, sent out a Tweet saying “I firmly believe that all Mexicans have the right to freely choose who to love and with whom to share their lives.”
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Taking place the last Saturday of June every year, Mexico City’s gay pride march and festival is an increasingly big affair (remember, Mexico City was the first major city in Latin America to legalize same-sex marriage, so this giant metropolis has a tradition of progressiveness and inclusion).
The festivities begin at the Angel de la Independencia (Angel of Independence), a landmark sculpture on the border of the gay-popular neighborhood called the Zona Rosa (Pink Zone). By 1pm, various contingents, floats and random participants begin making their way down the broad boulevard called the Paseo de la Reforma, making a right turn downtown for the final destination of the Zócalo, the large city square in the historic city center, where the festival includes lots of live music.
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One of the things I like most about Mexico City’s LGBT pride parade is that it offers such great people watching opportunities. This year, there were vaqueros (cowboys) on horseback. There were people with extensive body paint. There were people with costumes inspired by the Day of the Dead and by pre-Hispanic civilizations. There were wigs. There were multiple people dressed as variations on Mickey Mouse, for some reason. There were go-go boys, families with kids, religious groups and people with political signs (including at least a couple that were decidedly not in favor of Donald Trump).
Also nice: Mexico City pride is a giant event, but not so jam-packed that you’ll get a feeling of claustrophobia. Unlike gay pride in some U.S. cities, where the streets are so blocked off that you can’t even cross except in police-approved areas, the Mexico City LGBT pride parade is more relaxed, making it easy to join the parade as a casual participant, stop and view it for a while as a spectator, and then join again if you like.
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After the festival, the gay bars downtown, and in the Zona Rosa en elsewhere, get packed with revelers into the wee hours of the morning.
This is the third time I’ve attended the event in Mexico City with my hubby, and we always love it. So if you’re looking for an ideal gay travel idea or a great LGBT vacation, consider Mexico City for the parade and festival.