While they may look to an average outsider like nothing more than a technicolor street party, gay pride parades often come with very serious agendas, especially when they take place in areas not known for a culture of open-minded inclusion.
Guadalajara’s own celebrations (there are two: Guadalajara Pride and Marcha de Orgullo) are no exception.
Last weekend’s Guadalajara Pride saw the participation of over 30,000 people, a showing that lent weight to one of the parade’s key platforms: the promotion of a law which would prevent discrimination against the LGBT community, and in particular the trans community. The law is being proposed by the LGBT community through the Jalisco State Human Rights Commission, which advocates for a long list of groups with various grievances.
“We hope [the proposed law] will be taken seriously and considered closely by our congressmen, be they in office or to be elected,” said Guadalajara Pride president Karina Velazco, who indicated that the law would especially target workplace discrimination and a variety of gender-based bureaucratic entanglements in which members of the trans community routinely find themselves.
Some tension occurred when a counter demonstration attached itself to the pride march at the corner of Hidalgo and Chapultepec. However, according to witnesses, pride march participants did their best to co-exist with the dissidents, reasoning that members of this socially conservative incursion should be allowed to exercise their right to free speech, of which they themselves were taking advantage to spectacular effect.
In keeping with last year, representatives from the U.S. Consulate General in Guadalajara participated in the parade.