IF YOU’VE EVER BEEN to a gay pride in North America, you’ll think the one in Buenos Aires is jankety as hell. For one, there aren’t any floats. What there are are flatbed trucks with, well, flat beds behind them. They’re like big parties with disco lights and speakers and plenty of clubby, probably drug-addled youngsters dancing to contemporary feel-good hits and some old standards like “Y.M.C.A.” thrown in for good measure, all behind rails holding the party back from falling into the streets.
What Buenos Aires Pride lacks in glittery, design-heavy floats and real leather people with military-issue gear, it makes up for in passion and 10-peso cans of Quilmes all along the way to lift your spirits. The march was supposed to begin at 6PM, and maybe it did. I was late and hung around the Plaza de Mayo as the sun was setting, holding my pee as the lines at the port-o-potties rivaled that of any over-boozed and overcrowded music festival.
Huge trucks of enthusiastic gay, bi, lesbian, and trans-people (mostly trans-women), as wells as drag queens and their supporters jumped on the backs of trucks driven by unimpressed paisanos. Each blasted its own flavor of pride music as they inched forward toward Avenida de Mayo. I saw bare breasts, lots of man-on-man kissing, and more than one rainbow colored mohawk — one of which, on a cute little gal, was actually real hair.
At Congreso, a stage was set up and flags were waving and causes were passionately espoused from the stage. And all along the route, there were so many out in support of pride that at points, it was hard to put one foot in front of the other to make it down to the end. It was a pride to be proud of. Aguante, Buenos Aires! Fuerza gay!