Tag Archives: Gay Pride

A tale of two parties

27 Jun

The Gay Pride parade in La Paz was today.  It was surprisingly tame.  Well, I suppose this is not entirely surprising for a “macho” Latin American country with “deep-rooted prejudice,” as Bolivia is described by The Gay Times’ Gay Guide. But Bolivia has come some ways since 2000, when the city refused to give out permits for the parade and wouldn’t offer police protection.  Apparently in 2004, the government even tried to introduce legislation allowing gay couples to marry and adopt.  The Catholic church defeated the measure, but hey, this is more than what the U.S. government tried to do.  A giant Gay Pride flag has hanging prominently in one the main plazas of town for a month, though I thought this was the Incan flag at first.  They look remarkably similar!

The only difference I can see is an extra blue stripe. (Gay Pride, left. Incan Flag, right).

Unfortunately, I don’t have any pics of the parade.   The highlight was two girls in chicken costumes with the sign “Come más pollo.  Gracias Evo.”:  Eat More Chicken, Thanks Evo.  This is a reference to Evo’s remarks during a woodstock-like environmental conference in Bolivia about how hormone-laden chickens are to blame for making Bolivians gay and also bald.  Evo is giving Hugo Chavez and Jessica Simpson a run for their money in generating entertainingly idiotic remarks–though I still maintain that Jessica Simpson is a marketing genius (getting fat? I predict a SlimFast endorsement in the next year).  Needless to say, Evo didn’t attend the Gay Pride Parade–he is in South Africa instead, watching the World Cup (note:  Bolivia did not qualify for the World Cup).

But the Gay Pride parade was mostly transvestites sashaying and posing for the press–nothing terribly shocking that you would see in a San Fran gay pride parade.  The crowd was quiet and small with straight couples and families who looked like they were there for curiousity’s sake.   I whistled once and got a dirty look from a crowd-member.  There were even the traditional costumes from Carnaval and Gran Poder–I see those costumes at every parade/celebration!  But I suppose I would wear it often too if it cost 400 US dollars.

The parade ended at 9 p.m. and as I was walking toward San Pedro, I ran into a much rowdier celebration, in such stark contrast to the tepid Gay Pride Parade.  The occasion was celebrating the neighborhood, San Pedro, and it was quite a block party.  Crowds of people eating street food and hanging out in tents, drinking.  They were loading witch pot-sized brews of alcohol into wine bottles and whipping up foam-drinks.  The parade, with the same Carnaval costumes, was much much louder and energetic.

If only the U.S. won against Ghana today, there would’ve been another party, one that would’ve topped the other two.

A crowded street of San Pedro

Kabobs....smells so treacharously good!

Siphoning homebrew into wine bottles

Tent Party