More than 1 million people took part in the Buenos Aires Pride parade in Argentina on Nov. 4. (Photo courtesy of Estebán Paulón)
In a vibrant and colorful event that drew more than a million people to the streets of Buenos Aires, the Argentine capital’s Pride march took place on Nov. 4.
“Not one more adjustment, not one less right,” was the march’s slogan. “Anti-discrimination Law, comprehensive trans law now!”
This urgent call for equality and nondiscrimination resonated strongly on the eve of the presidential election’s second round that will take place on Nov. 19.
Esteban Paulón, the former president of the Argentine Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgender People who won a seat in the Argentine Congress on Oct. 22 as a member of the Santa Fe Socialist Party, told the Washington Blade that “we celebrate a massive march that once again broke a record, that summoned many people from the (LGBTQ) collective, many families, more and more plural, more diverse and with a clear message that was (Javier) Milei no.”
The march, which various LGBTQ rights organizations and activists from all over Argentina attended, became a unified cry for equal rights and the rejection of any form of discrimination. Attendees carried banners and flags showing their support for the demands of trans and gender diverse communities.
“The march was in a very propositional tone of defending the rights (that we have won,) of stating that there is not going to be a step backwards, of stating that if there is any attempt to go backwards we are going to be mobilized,” said Paulón. “That was the tone and obviously the … law was not clearly a slogan, it was not the official slogan of the march, but it was perceived and felt in the whole atmosphere.”
Argentina’s political context adds a special dimension to this demonstration, as the country is on the verge of a presidential runoff that pits Libertarian economist Javier Milei, a far-right candidate who is known for his anti-LGBTQ stances, against Economy Minister Sergio Massa, who has publicly spoken out in favor of further advancing the queer agenda.
LGBTQ activists fear a Milei victory could have a negative impact on laws and policies that protect the community.
“They come with a very fiery hate speech against different collectives, among them the LGBTQ+ community,” said Paulón.
Congressman Maximiliano Ferraro of Buenos Aires, a gay member of the center-right “Civic Coalition” political coalition who won re-election on Oct. 22, told the Blade the march served as “an opportunity to remember once again that in a society that educates us for shame, Pride is a political response.”
Ferraro added “Pride marches have political, social and cultural meaning.”
“They are also for celebration, discovery and vindication,” he said. “Here we are defending and raising the flags of equality, freedom and plurality.”
In emotional speeches during the march, activists and representatives of LGBTQ organizations stressed the urgency of passing the Anti-Discrimination Law and the Comprehensive Trans Law to guarantee equal rights and nondiscrimination in Argentina. They also called on the population to vote for candidates who support LGBTQ rights in the upcoming election.
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