Karen Michelle Lemus is a BSc Media, Culture, and Communications student at New York University.
When it first took place in 1992, as a celebration and political protest, it attracted around 300 participants, the majority wearing masks to conceal their identity. Today, the Buenos Aires 'Marcha del Orgullo,' or Pride March, is attended by more than 100,000 people – and it continues to be both a place for protesting and celebrating.
This year’s Pride March will be its 27th incarnation. The march was first organised by Carlos Jáuregui, the AIDS activist and an outspoken defender of LGBT and human rights who forms part of an long-lasting LGBT legacy in Argentina. It came into existence as a result of a political need from the LGBT community to ensure their visibility across society and to celebrate their existence, that has been historically oppressed.
The march takes place in the month of November, to commemorate the establish of Nuestro Mundo, the first gay political organisation in Latin America, which dates back to 1967. It evolved to later form the Homosexual Liberation Front, which maintained an active status until the military dictatorship of 1976.
This year's edition will be just as political as previous editions. Many marchers will be demonstrating in solidarity with other human rights organisations – such as the Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo – and will be calling for change, such as the legalisation of abortion, the separation of Church from State and a law such as Uruguay's, which guarantees the rights of the trans community. Many will be calling for the introduction of a law that would ensure one percent of all public-sector jobs be held for transgender individuals.
Activities have held throughout the weeks leading to the march. Today, November 16, there are activites including:
– A workshop about the Trans Labor Quota Law, headed by Cristina Montserrat Hendrickse, Paula Arraigada and Luisa Paz, in the auditorium of the headquarters of the Defensoria del Pueblo located at Av. Belgrano 673 at 3pm
– Nosotros: el documental will be played starting at 6pm in the Sede Comunal 6 at Av. Patricias Argentinas 277.
– Hungry after the movie? Make reservations and head over to Osos, located at Humberto Primo 1664 starting at 8pm.
Pride will take place this Saturday, November 17. Several venues across the City will host their own Pride-themed event, but the festivities begin in the Plaza de Mayo at 2pm where a stage will be set-up for bands to play and LGBT activists will speak. The march itself sets off from Plaza de Mayo at 5pm and culminates at Plaza Congreso.
Buenos Aires has been called the most gay-friendly Latin American city by the British LGBT Awards. Argentina is a pioneer for equal marriage and gender equality laws, serving as an example and inspiration for other Latin American countries.