Social Issues

Mexico’s LGBT community holds world’s largest online gay pride event

By Inés Amarelo

Mexico, June 27 (efe-epa).- Pride organizers and Mexican celebrities came together online on Saturday for a streamed event to celebrate the LGBTQI movement’s achievements by holding the annual march, this time virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Organized and coordinated by the Incluye T (Includes You) Committee, the event with the hashtag #ElOrgulloPermanece (#PrideEndures) lasted the entire evening and stretched into the night and was aired live on Youtube, Facebook and Mexican broadcaster Canal Once, offering informative capsules, discussions and a series of art performances.

The capsules revolved around four main themes: Recognition of trans childhoods, recognition of rights of diverse families, standardization of rights for all people across the country, and the timely detection and care for HIV along with the struggle for cross-sectional healthcare.

Several famous personalities such as Mexican trans influencer Ophelia Pastrana, Youtuber Victoria Volkova, former Olympic athlete Ricardo del Real, and actors Christian Chavez and Valeria Vera participated.

“Our fight has to be cross-sectional,” said the Incluye T Committee members, who read out a manifesto of the “world’s biggest digital march”, on the main channel.

In their statement, the organizers presented data about the widespread discrimination in Mexico towards the diversity in sexual orientations and gender identities.

According to information provided by nonprofit Letra S, in 2019 one person was killed every third day in the country for their sexual or gender identity and only 10 percent of these cases were pursued and prosecuted as hate crimes.

“No to impunity,” proclaimed the activists.

With significant diversity in content, a festive atmosphere was ensured by the participation of artists such as Renee Goust, Daniella Spalla, Jesse & Joy, OV7, and Thalia, who expressed their commitment to the cause and emphasized that this culture belonged to the entire world.

Renowned singer Thalia kicked off the event in a video, reminding that the present, despite difficulties, offered an opportunity to think about how the world should be when it returns to the “new normalcy.”

“The virus doesn’t stop us but forces us to recognize the important things. (…) Forty-two years ago the first people came out on the street to demand rights and publicly celebrate gay pride. This day is for telling those who live in fear and choose to live in the shadows that they are not alone,” said the artist, dressed in a multi-colored jacket and standing under a massive LGBT flag.

Speeches were also held by officials from different institutions, such as Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum, who said she was proud of being the leader of a city that was a pioneer in rights for everyone.

“We are in a permanent battle against discrimination and it is an everyday job. There will not be any reversal. We will continue moving forward in the civil recognition of trans people and reminding that families are diverse and should be fully respected,” she said.

On several occasions during the event, the need for paying attention to the rest of the states in the country was emphasized, as Mexico City remains an “oasis in the desert” in terms of rights and freedoms of the LGBTQI community and much remains to be done.

The participation of trans people and information over gender identities were key focuses of the day, and the necessity of including them in the struggle was highlighted, especially by strengthening legislation to recognize them and protecting their rights from childhood.

The Pride was declared a success and the hundreds of internet users who attended were thanked for participating despite having to suppress their desire to go out on the streets demanding equality and celebrating, like every year, by filling the city with color and music.

A small group of people gathered on the capital’s central Paseo de la Reforma avenue holding rainbow flags, only to disperse soon as the call for an initial march after the physical presence of people was finally canceled. EFE-EPA


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