Recognition of sexual diversity and advocacy for equal rights are the central themes of the second annual Chapala Pride festival coming up Saturday, November 18.
The event will bring together LGBTQ advocates from communities throughout the lakeshore region, the Guadalajara metro area and several neighboring states.
Organizers recognize Chapala as the first Jalisco municipality outside the state capital to welcome a major manifestation of gay pride. The local government and the Lake Chapala Society (LCS) have come on board as event sponsors.
Activities will kick off with a parade making a full loop along Avenida Madero, starting at 5 p.m. from the intersection of Ramon Corona, in front of the Cazadores Restaurant. Individuals and groups wishing to march or run floats are asked to arrive at 4 p.m. to join the line-up.
Following the lively cavalcade, a transvestite musical show will be staged at the open-air forum located on the eastern leg of the Malecón, 6 p.m. The program also includes two speeches addressing pertinent issues such as homophobia and discrimination, acceptance and non-violence towards homosexual, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender persons, and the pursuance of their equal rights for marriage and adoption. Admission is open to the public free of charge.
November 18 stands out as a significant date for Mexico’s LGBTQ community, commemorating the infamous 1901 police raid on a drag ball that was going on at a private home in Mexico City. According to news reports of the time, among the 41 gentlemen who were rounded up in the sting, half were dressed up in elegant silk and satin dresses, wigs, jewelry and make-up.
It was rumored that a 42nd man caught in the snare was the son-in-law of President Porfirio Díaz, who was quickly released from custody to avoid embarrassment for the chief executive. The others were temporarily put in jail or forcibly conscripted into the Army and sent off to the Yucatan to dig ditches and clean latrines.
Known in popular culture as el baile de los cuarenta y uno, the scandal has gone down in national history as an example of outing and harassment against homosexuals with long-lasting repercussions. The number 41 henceforth took on negative connotations, reflecting the stigmatization of gay people that still flourishes in conservative sectors of Mexican society.