New Covid variants. A mass killing at a Texas grammar school. The war in Ukraine grinding on. A stream of alarming revelations by the congressional committee investigating the January 6 mob assault on the U.S. Capitol. And just before we left, news that the ayatollahs on the U.S. Supreme Court had overturned Roe v. Wade, and that Justice Clarence Thomas was musing that same-sex marriage and other hard-won protections for gays and lesbians might be targeted next.
When Stew and I left on Friday morning for the four-hour bus ride to Mexico City for the Gay Pride parade in Mexico City the next day, our minds were sweltering with the onslaught of bad news. Perhaps as an unconscious protective reaction I just shut off all news on my phone and tablet and turned to a book I’d been meandering through for weeks. I finished it before we arrived.
Then came Saturday morning. Mexico City pulsed with anticipation of the annual Gay Pride parade. It was scheduled to begin at one o’clock, but a sea of rainbow flags and cheering people gathered an hour earlier by the city’s iconic Angel of Independence monument and started to walk down the majestic Paseo de la Reforma, a rare occurrence in a country where practically everything starts late.
Stew and I stood, sat and walked amid the masses of people, while a seemingly endless caravan of floats, most constructed on the flatbeds of semi-trucks, rode by for approximately six hours, with hardly a pause. Crowds—hundreds of thousands—greeted each float with cheers, relishing the spectacle, both on the ground and on the floats, of people in ever more outlandish getups, some of which left very little or nothing to the imagination. The city’s supply of glitter, tinsel and sequins must have been exhausted for the occasion.
What struck us was the universal gayety of the occasion, both in the old-fashioned sense of happiness or festiveness, and the more recent metaphorical tag that describes same-sex attraction and love. After a six-hour immersion in this infectious celebration, we were showered by one last handful of rainbow confetti, went out for some ice cream (at a sushi restaurant!) on the way back to the hotel, and had a terrific steak dinner later, to talk about what a great time we’d had.
We felt as if we’d been through an exorcism. The bilge of bad and upsetting news, including the rising homophobia the U.S., seemed as distant as an exoplanet. We felt truly happy and gay, thanks to the spectacle we had just witnessed, and the not insignificant fact that Stew and I were also celebrating our fiftieth—that’s five-oh—years together. We were glad to be in Mexico.
Following are a collection of photos of the event. I selected shots of young bodybuilders showing off, over-the-top drag queens, families and even decked-out dogs. Take your pick.
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|Tinsel, bubbles and a rainbow flag|