The 16th Annual Gay Pride Parade was held recently in Buenos Aires with the slogan Liberty, equality and diversity. Thousands marched along Aveida De Mayo from the president’s palace to the Congreso.

The march was for the elimination of misdemeanour codes that ban cross-dressing, a law recognising gender identity and the legalisation of gay marriage.

A complex feeling of jubilation and political determination reigned on the Aveida De Mayo as activists, revellers, spectators, and many in-between marched. The parade filled up about 10 blocks with people holding signs, there were lively bands on large trucks and on foot, floats of all kinds, many dressed in fantastic costumes with makeup and most men stripped to the waist.

Great fun was had by all in a very festive atmosphere as marchers moved through the city and there were very few police around as is a characteristic of other political marches in Buenos Aires. All the marchers advanced with signs bearing this year’s Gay Pride slogan: The same rights with the same names, liberty, equality and diversity.

Like most gay pride events worldwide, the march was a celebration of sexual diversity and the potential of modern identity. What was absent from the event was the visible support of members of the city government and the local politicians, a support that such events in most other cosmopolitan Western cities enjoy.

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