Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Argentina: 20,000 at gay pride

Buenos Aires saw their 15th annual gay pride march on Saturday and it drew a record 20,000 people (twice as many as in 2005, according to some observers).

In an interview with Todo Noticias available through Clarin, Cesar Cigliutti, President of Comunidad Homosexual Argentina (CHA), reminisces that fifteen years ago "we were 200 and a half wore masks" to cover their face and talks about the significant advances that have taken place in Argentina since then.

Unlike the last couple of years, the march went without a hitch and was not the scene of the type of confrontations that threatened to overshadow it in 2003 and 2005.

Behind the scenes, some tensions remained as some tried to pit organizers of a women's rights march that took also took place Saturday against the gay pride organizers arguing that holding a gay pride march on the same date was an affront to women. But those attempts seemed to fall on deaf ears, even amongst the organizers of the women's rights march.

As in recent years, a few people, including trans activist Lohana Berkins, chose to participate in a "Counter-March" to protest against the capitalist system and the increasingly apolitical and assimilationist nature of the annual pride event.

But even Lohana had reason to smile on Saturday: On Tuesday, November 21st, Argentina's Supreme Court ruled that that the Argentinean government must grant ALITT, the organization she represents, official recognition as a non-profit organization. The ruling was applauded by the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission as a first for a transgender rights organization in Argentina in this press release.

Additional photos of Saturday's march can be found here and here.

UPDATE: Gabriel from has even more photos here.


seyd said...

Lohana Berkins is my new heroine! Question: Is this the only "Counter-March" you have seen in Latinamerica? I don't recall of any happening in Mexico City. Any links? Photos? I am really interested in the "Counter-March" movement.

Andrés Duque said...

There are some photos at the following links:

- 2003 spray painting of the Cathedral
- 2004 counter march participants
- 2005 confrontation between some counter-march members and fundamentalist religious groups (as well as the response from the police)

and a video interview of Lohana Bekins talking about the "Counter March" here.