Pride weekend is nearly upon us in Buenos Aires — and if you’re lucky enough to be living or staying in the most LGBTQ-friendly city in Latin America, you know what that means! Quit trying to nab a Netflix and chill date and break out your rainbow paraphernalia; this Saturday, November 26th, we’re marching (for the 25th time) to Congreso. There’ll be gaudy floats and DIY banners, go-go dancers and Britney throwbacks. So be there or be square — bonus points if your getup features feathers, beads, or glitter.
The first Pride parade in Argentina took place in 1992, and consisted of a mere 250 people. Carlos Jáuregui, renowned LGBT activist, led the march for equality. This year, tens of thousands of people are expected, with non-conservative estimates putting the number of attendees at over 100,000. The growth of the parade is, in part, thanks to changing attitudes in Argentina, which has been praised around the world for its advances in LGBTQ rights.
However, before over-indulging in the best that the city has to offer (hem hem, chongos), it’s worth remembering that Pride is still an actual cause. As expressions of hatred and bigotry continue to remind us, there is still a long way to go, and this year’s rallying cry for the LGBTQ community is ‘¡Ley antidiscriminatoria ya!’ — or, as a creative English translation might read, ‘Get your act together Congress, it’s high time to pass anti-discrimination law!‘
Despite the passing of marriage equality and the gender identity law, there is still a significant part of the Argentine population that is not accepting of these advances. This poses a real danger, since sexual orientation and gender identity are not currently protected in Argentina at the federal level — a loophole that let the literal neo-Nazis behind the attacks targeting the gay community in Mar del Plata last year get away without being persecuted for committing hate crimes.
As we continue to process the persistent acts of violence suffered by the LGBTQ community, this year’s push for legal protection could not come at a better time. For transgender people in particular, the situation remains extremely grave — according to Huésped Foundation, the average life expectancy for trans person in Argentina is only 35 years. In contrast, the average CIS-gendered man lives to 73, and the average CIS-gendered woman, 80. Saturday’s march commemorates our LGBT forebearers — and especially the young trans men and women we have lost. Parading is a way of increasing queer visibility, and fighting for a better quality of life.
In addition to Saturday’s parade, this weekend will see a large number of Pride-related activities. Although not listed, keep an eye out for festivities at Puerca and Sitges. It’s very possible that all of them will announce special activities as we move closer to the big date.
Friday, November 25th
Fiesta Plop is hosting a pre-parade party at Teatro Vorterix in Colegiales. It has an open bar, which makes for an interesting night, but if you arrive after two the line can get a bit crazy. If waiting outside for an hour isn’t your cup of tea, consider buying your tickets online ahead of time.
Fiesta Whip (Gascón 1040) will also be holding a pre-Pride party — and admission until 3 AM, including a night-long open bar, will only set you back AR $140.
Saturday, November 26th
La Marcha del Orgullo officially kicks off in Plaza de Mayo at 1 PM. Tons of people come here to congregate and mingle, and to witness some emotionally charged speeches. The parade itself probably won’t set off until a couple of hours later — in past years, the parade has started as late as 6 PM. Keep in mind that we’re talking Argentina time, so tranqui — relax.
Casa Brandon (Luis Maria Drago 236) is hosting a post-parade ‘Chill Out Party‘ at 9 PM. If pizza, empanadas, and happy hours are up your alley, head over to the cozy, self-styled ‘Queer Club.’ Entrance is free, there will be a DJ, and it promises to be a great place to relax.
Fiesta Eyeliner (Rivadavia 1910) will have a special post-Pride event at mere meters from the parade’s end in Congreso. Admission is AR $100, and while there isn’t any open bar, drinks tend to be strong and cheap. Argentine celebrities have been known to appear at these kind of events, and even (with a bit of coercion) to perform on stage. In general, the music is diverse, and can vary from pop to cumbia.
Rheo (Coronel Marcelino Freyre & Av. Infanta Isabel) will also be celebrating Pride this Saturday in Studio Crobar. Arrive before 2 PM and announce yourself as an invitée of ‘Rheo Online’ and you’ll be eligible for a discount. Admission is probably in the ballpark of AR $200 to AR $300, and includes one drink. More of a ‘posh’ option, the music gravitates towards pop and electronica.
Sunday, November 27th
Human will be throwing “We Are Proud” in Crobar (Coronel Marcelino Freyre & Av. Infanta Isabel) to tie up this year’s Pride activities. Admission before 3 AM is AR $300 (with a discount, which you can sign up for here), otherwise it’s AR $350. There will be an open bar the entire night, and as one of Buenos Aires’ more upscale clubs, the party promises to be good.