Pride?

I am frustrated. I'm looking, searching, digging for any kind of information about the Gay Pride Parade that is supposed to be happening tomorrow in Cancun. Pride Week was always one of the best times of year when I lived in Toronto. A festival celebrating open minds and open hearts where anything goes and it's all about the love (well, the love, the booze, the parties, the shiny bodies), supported by the government and attended by gay and straight alike. It was always well organized and a very visible celebration of the rights and freedoms of sexual orientation that people fought so hard for. You couldn't walk down the street without seeing a flyer, a billboard, a banner, whole newspapers advertising the upcoming festivities, I always knew I could find something fabulous happening on Church St. in the week leading up to the big parade. The parade is famous for drawing over a million visitors a year, with very few (if any) instances of violence or problems. I could always count on the Dykes on Bikes opening the parade with a bang, I got goosebumps when I saw/heard them roaring down the street. The night clubs always had some riotous floats filled with half naked pretty boys throwing condoms into the throngs of excited parade goers and blaring Cher or Madonna or the anthem of the year out of gigantic speakers. I always ended the day very happy, very sunburned and usually more than a little drunk. On love and pride of course. Ahem.

I realize now how much I took for granted in Canada. In Cancun (and Mexico) things are quite different. I've asked the couple of gay men I work with what's on for the weekend and they said "I think there might be a parade on Tulum, but it's always lame and a little bit scary". In searching for information, I found nothing, zero, bupkiss. No community organizations like GLAD or PFLAG. No announcement of any kind, anywhere. The local gay clubs (all two of them, I believe Glow has closed but someone can correct me if I am wrong) have outdated websites with zero information on community affairs. I found one website from Mexico City that mentions there will be a parade on tomorrow's date, but that is it. Then, after all my fruitless searching, I found a blog claiming to be a source of information for homosexuals in Mexico. Hurray, I thought and wrote a quick email explaining my search and asking if he had any links or information pertaining to Cancun. And what do I get back? A nasty, snarky email asking me if I had just got my first computer and did I know what Google was. Oh, and a slam against my blog and how it looks. Basically this man took the time to write me a very negative email telling me he had no time to hold my hand through the gayness of Mexico. Well, excuse me sir (I will NOT be linking to his blog), but now you've just gone and made me all kinds of mad. I wrote a very friendly request in an effort to share important information and I get slapped for my efforts. He said "there is tons of stuff on GLBT Mexico", but if that is true then it's really well hidden. There are sites for GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered people) Mexico CITY, but outside of the D.F. I'm finding nothing. I never wish people ill, but I hope he has a very lonely pride weekend.

So, there's my rant. Not what I wanted to post, but it's an accurate representation of what has happened. I wanted to share event times, plans, parties and the joy of the freedom to be who you want to be, but apparently Pride is not such a proud event here. Not that I should be surprised, one of my biggest complaints (I do have some, I can't always be Little Mary Sunshine!) is how behind the times Mexico is in regards to the attitude towards people who live alternative lifestyles. I'm never quite sure if it is outright homophobia, a hatred of homosexuals or if it is just a lack of exposure and education. I really don't think it's hatred, I think it's just the unknown. If I ask people about their feelings, they often say they have never met a gay person but they guess they wouldn't really treat them any differently ("but they better not touch me"). I try hard not to laugh when they say they have never met anyone who is gay, I'm quite sure everyone has but they just might not know it in a country where people are still so closeted.

In the end, regardless of where you live, who you love (or how many), I am wishing all of you a Happy Pride Weekend. Gay or straight, you must celebrate the freedom to express your love with the person/people of your choice. For my friends in Toronto, please have a cold one for me in the beer garden, I will be thinking of all of you and wishing I was there dancing naked in a fountain. If anyone has any links to organizations in Cancun, PLEASE share them and prove me wrong.

I haven't been homesick for a long time, but this video brought tears to my eyes and made me long for the streets of Toronto and the joy of pride.



Comments

Mexico "Way" said…
Sorry you're frustrated about the lack of hoopla around Pride, but I'm not surprised. It is really big in Vancouver as well and they are a heck of a lot of fun. Maybe a visit to karamba is in order??

PS Please reserve next Saturay for me!
Jonna said…
¡Viva Toronto! What a great video. Also a great post and thank you CC for the wonderful sentiments.

I can't honestly say I miss being in SF again for Gay Day, but I am nostalgic for past Pride weeks and happy that I have these great memories of them. Now, I would be too exhausted to party like that.

It's too bad about Cancun and Mexico in general, I'm encouraged by some of the laws allowing marriage but, like most places outside the large sophisticated cities, not much has changed in the hinterlands. That's true in the US too and probably in Canada also.

Anyway, thanks love for the great post!
RiverGirl said…
I read a book called "True Tales from Another Mexico" by Sam Quinones, it has an essay about homosexuality in Mexico and it is very revealing. Gayness is treated quite differently here than it is in the states and what's more it's perceived differently. I think a lot of what you are reacting to is attributable to lack of education.

As far as I know 1 out of every 20 people walking around is gay. I may be wrong but that's the number my prof drilled into my head in my Psych of Human Sexuality course in college. If that's true then everyone has met lots of gay people. Homosexuality is as old and normal as any other aspect of humanity. I find it astounding that people can find anything wrong with it.
My3Ro's said…
I find it very sad that in this day and age people are still scared to be who they are. Makes me grateful to all I have and how lucky I am. I am accepting to all because well we cannot chose who we love in my opinion. I hope everyone has a great weekend.
Mimi said…
Ahh Kelly et all, Thanks so much. Your sentiments and support here warm my heart!

I miss riding my bike in the SF parade probably more than anything really. Such a thrill when we all made them roar to start it all off. Such a high from the crowd going crazy, hehehe and a few flashes from cute girls.
Thanks for the vid and wishes for a good pride.
C.A. said…
So sorry about the lack of PRIDE in Cancun, Kelly. My son will be participating in the Chicago PRIDE parade today. I told him to do some extra celebrating for you!

Hugs...

C.A.
Kelly, the Chicago Pride parade was always one of my favorite events. I used to have an apartment overlooking one of the major intersections in Lakeview, a popular "gay" neighborhood. I always laughed and cried tears of joy watching the parade.

That blogger, what a jerkstore. Some people are so miserable they only feel better by trying to make others feel miserable, too. I'm glad you didn't link to him, I might have had to do a drive by.
wayne said…
Anyway, thanks for caring. I'm afraid you may have lost your "family" rating after that video though! LOL! I've only had one bad moment in Mexico and that was really nothing. My Mexican friends were more upset over some name calling than I was...well, maybe another time I'll tell the story. Thanks for a great post and some really great comments. (I caught the how many reference! thanks!)
I heard that there was a parade here in Merida, but I don't remember anything else. But then again, I don't get out much.
What a prejudiced jerk the other blogger is.
regards,
Theresa
Manolo said…
I don't know any numbers (well I know 1, 2, 3, 13, 23x3, and others) but in my "barrio", which by the way is know in some circles as "De-efe-rin", I've seen a noticeable amount of gay Mexicans and that could be because of intolerance south of the 49th parallel (except for T., of course, but that is because it is on this side of the border). Pride week is like any other Summer event and thus this year it might not be as full of tourists as previous years due to the high cost of gas and traveling in general.
tacogirl said…
Always enjoyed the Toronto Parade as well. We have events being mentioned here in Belize without proper details so you know when and where to go lol.
CancunCanuck said…
Mexico Way- Next Saturday is reserved for you! I'm not surprised by the lack of Pride here, just frustrated by the lack of even just a little drop of information about what actually is going on. Such is life here though, same old, same old.

Jonna- I know what you mean about being "over" the whole party aspect of Pride, but I do miss the sense of community and just the "bigger picture" aspect of the whole thing. I agree that there is a metropolitan/small town difference in attitudes but am glad to see things at least moving in the right direction in D.F. and the government of Mexico.

Rivergirl- I did a little reading on the history of homosexuality in Mexico, seems it was those darned Spaniards that beat it out of the indigenous peoples who actually were quite open about their same sex relations. I've always heard the "One in ten" rule, but then again I hung out with a pretty queer crowd, they may have "jimmied" the numbers. :)

My3ros- Aren't we fortunate to live in a time when we do have the freedom to be who we want to be and love who we want to love? Something we should not take for granted, though the fight for equality still rages on!

Mimi- Oooh, I can see you on your bike now, head thrown back laughing! Happy pride amiga, sending big hugs your way! (I'd flash you, but "cute girl" isn't an expression used for me much anymore, teehee).

C.A.- Hope you and your son are having a fabulous pride weekend, I raise a glass to you and him!

Heather- I can imagine Toronto and Chicago had very similar events, the cities are so alike in many ways. Tears of laughter and joy are so much better than any other kind aren't they? Maybe I'll send you that blogger's link, you're much better at I than dealing with jackasses, go kick some butt!

Wayne- My family includes bare breasts and cute naked boys, lol! Hope you are having a fab weekend, raise the flag and your glass! It makes me quite happy to hear that you haven't experienced anything nasty directly, gives me great hope.

Theresa- It's not that you don't get out much, it's that the information doesn't get out, kwim? It's hard to know about it if nobody talks about it! And yes, the other blogger was a jerk, thankfully all the comments here have wiped away his negativity.

Manolo- It's amazing to me that the price of gas could affect so many things, we're just not feeling it here! I'm not surprised that where you are living has a gay Latin community, makes total sense to me. If you've never experienced the parade get out there today, you'll have goosebumps I am telling you!

tacogirl- The Toronto parade was always great. To the point where you DO take for granted the ability to be so open. Belize once again shares something in common with Mexico then, lack of good information on community events!

Thanks for all your comments everyone, Happy Pride! Here's the story on yesterday's Dyke March in Toronto.... http://www.thestar.com/News/GTA/article/451305
That girl said…
Vancouver Pride day is huge too, a lot like in Toronto.

Maybe Mexico will catch on in a few years...once tourists start asking for it maybe!
Susan said…
Canuck,

There was a Gay Pride "parade" and some sort of function in the Palapas Park last night. Gringa and I saw all the festivities from where we were dining.

The part that amused us was that entire families were in the park. We wondered if the grandparents of these families really knew what was going on, or if they just thought there was a colorful crowd in the park that evening.
Anonymous said…
Heck!!! I can't even find the gay people down here in Chetumal much less a Gay Pride Day. As I commented on Jonna's blog the other day, I am having to import Lesbians so I can have a date once in a while.

If you have any untethered Lesbians up your way, would you send them south? These import fees are killing the budget. Maybe they could take ADO to Chet instead of Continental Airlines. I will even pick them up at the bus station.

Kathe
CancunCanuck said…
That Girl- I think if Cancun realized there was a market to attract tourists for Gay Pride, they could make a great success of it! I hear Vancouver has great Pride events too, hope you got to enjoy some of the fun!

Susan- I knew something was going on, I just wish I had known when and where and times! Seems like you need to know the secret handshake. Kind of the opposite of what Pride should be, it should be screamed loud and proud and be a celebration for the whole community. (CC waves hello at Susan whom she hasn't seen in FUHEVER)

Kathe- LOL on imported lesbians! I can see how you would have to do that though. Chetumal isn't exactly the center of progressiveness! I'll see if I can't dig up some cute girls here, though I'll be really honest and say I have never met an out girl here. A few out boys, but not one out girl in almost five years here, how sad is that??
IGLTAMEXICO said…
HI EVERYBODY....

Just check that

www.wix.com/ilovecancun2011/prideparade

Of course we have a pride parade, this is the next 16th July 2011, we are wainting for you.

See you guys....

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