Sunday, November 02, 2008

Gay Pride - Old School

On Saturday Nov 1, we attended the wonderful Buenos Aires Gay Pride Celebration and Parade at the Plaza de Mayo. This is an old school pride fest that reminded us of the way things used to be before sponsorships and barricades and police-every-five feet killed it all. Very freeforall/Montreal-Pridelike.

Here are 80 pictures of a beautiful day full of beautiful porteños (locals). One question: where are all the older gay people? You would think they would be visible at least on this day, but this was an overwhelmingly young crowd.

The parade ended after sundown at the central Plaza del Congreso with fireworks and performances. You really have not lived until you have heard an Argentine transvestite lip sync the Quebecoise Celine Dion's cover of Englishman Andrew Lloyd Weber's American Broadway hit "Don't Cry for me, Argentina". Our life is now complete.

PS to our German farmboy friend, Reinhold: You photograph so well.
PS to Naty: you handle direct sunlight with valiance.

Here are some sample photos. Video to follow.


Anonymous said...

Re: your statement that you saw no older gay people at the parade. Along with other culural reasons, the terror of the 1970s Disappeared plus the 1980s AIDS = few older gays left alive or eager to march around in public after what happened to them 30 years ago.

"In 1969, however, the first Argentine gay and lesbian organization was created. Named Nuestro Mundo [Our World], it had a development independent of the gay and lesbian movement in the United States. This organization was unaware of the Stonewall Riots and the growth of the gay and lesbian movement at this time in the U.S. In 1971 they learned about the events in the United States and adopted a new name, Frente de Liberación Homosexual (FLH), [Homosexual Liberation Front]. In 1972, the first lesbian political group was formed, Safo, and it became a member of the FLH.

Although the name Frente de Liberación Homosexual may reflect an influence from the United States, the group saw their fight differently from the movement developed in the U.S. According to the FLH, gay men and lesbians had to be part of the process of liberation that was occurring at the time in Argentina. They constructed alliances with the Argentine left, especially with left wing Peronism, and they thought that it was important to build a country free from imperialistic domination. Some activists from the FLH, such as Manuel Puig and Néstor Perlonger, later became renowned as intellectuals and artists.

In 1976 there was another coup d'état. This period of military dictatorship was the cruelest in Argentinian history, and the growing social conservatism affected glbtq people. Many members of the FLH were among the 30,000 "disappeared" people. They were kidnapped and murdered, while others were forced into exile. Few activists from this generation are still alive, because those who did survive later had to face the AIDS epidemic."

dpaste said...

Where were all the older gay people? This is Buenos Aires. The old people either looked like they were under 30 or they were not permitted to attend.

Tony Adams said...

Dera Anonymous,
Thank you for the valuable lesson in Buenos Aires gay history. That explains so much. As an outsider, this country seems to be an amazing roller coaster ride of injustice and justice.

tankmontreal said...

Are you suggesting that Montreal Pride is "old-school"? I remember the earliest Prides here in the '80s. (I think we might share some of the same memories, no?) It's not like that anymore.

Indeed it is something of a freeforall though. Once the good weather is upon us the whole city - gay or straight - is out playing in the streets for any old reason. This is a summer festival town, after all.

But nowadays Montreal Pride is prideless, its focus being all-night dance parties with exorbitant cover charges and glassy-eyed boys stumbling about. Older generations boycott and stay home. I wouldn't call that old-school.

Enjoy Buenos Aires.

Tony Adams said...

dear Tank,

I was indeed thinking back to those earlier Pride celebrations in Montreal and via selective memory had forgotten how they evolved. Those were great days.