Glitter, confetti, rainbows. This must mean one thing…Lisa Frank!…Just kidding…PRIDE WEEKEND!
I was curious what pride would be like in this city of progressive political policies. Uruguay legalized same-sex marriage back in 2013. It is one of the few places in South America that celebrates and embraces sexual differences. I was looking forward to seeing how the city embraced its LGBTQ community.
Unlike the states, Montevideo pride takes place at night. The people parade down the street until they get to plaza independencia. They call it a demonstration instead of a parade because everyone can participate in the march. A massive pride flag is carried by twenty or so people. A truck blasts the music of Gaga and Brittany. Signs of celebration are held by all ages and faces.
One celebrating the marriage of two elderly gentleman elicited applause by the spectators on the side of the road. Drag queens danced with children running behind them. Bottles of beer were passed around friend groups. The smell of cigarettes and weed filled the air. The convivial nature of the demonstration even made the sprinkling rain obsolete. Everyone was having a blast until…
Now, in the states it is usually a group of fifteen to thirty religious fanatics holding up signs about hell and damnation. They chant their little chants and are for the most part ignored or flipped off or flashed. In Montevideo there is a single protester holding up his bible. He waves his arms and shouts and it quite literally ignored. At one point the gentleman with the sign celebrating their marriage walked by and were applauded drowning out the hateful bigotry. It was almost comical how little impact the man had, especially since we passed a Catholic church and the priest were out front waving to all of the demonstrators celebrating with the freedom to love and be.
It was night of happiness and joy. A night of pure honesty. I loved my Nashville pride, but this was really special to see. It just goes to show that love does trump hate. Freedom is so much better than suppression. And Montevideo has immense pride!