Gay-Themed Parade Draws Crowd in Tijuana

Gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transexuals, and intersexuals (GBLTI) cut loose with a big parade in downtown Tijuana on June 18. Perhaps a thousand-plus marchers and partiers arrived in the beds of pickup trucks and on tractor-trailers to show their gay pride while making their way down Avenida Revolución.

Spectators cheered them on as they chanted and cavorted along the parade route and passed out free prophylactics to bemused bystanders.

Lorenzo Herrera, the organizer of the event and an activist for 28 years, had predicted in Frontera that the 16th annual march and parade would paralyze downtown Tijuana. Although well received, the celebration did not impede business in the district.

Herrera had said that part of the GLBTI march was to protest against police harassment of gays, particularly against the “sexo servidores" (prostitutes) who work in local bars. Herrera, who is also director of an association that assists AIDS patients, said that whether or not gay rights were legally sanctioned, those affected by police harassment and social disapprobation would continue “to be persons.”

Local bars that cater to gay clientele were big sponsors of the event, which included the selection of a parade queen.

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