Tijuana Pride 2006. Photos by Rex Wockner
News Analysis by Rex Wockner
About 400 people took to the streets of Tijuana June 17 for the 11th Gay Pride Parade.
Half of the participants marched on the sidewalks, out of the view of media photographers.
Local GLBT people—with a heavy emphasis on the T—seemed thrilled that the parade had been resurrected. Last year, it was canceled at the last minute due to disorganization that followed the death of veteran activist Alejandro García, who had always been the primary organizer.
The parade goes right down Tijuana's main street—and busiest pedestrian street—Avenida Revolución, at 3 p.m. on a Saturday afternoon. Usually, several hundred unsuspecting shoppers see the parade pass, most often expressing amusement.
But this year, thousands of people had lined the parade route before the march kicked off, suggesting there had been some kind of unprecedented advance media coverage.
Tijuana's parade has stayed more or less the same size for the entire 11 years of its existence—despite the city now having a population of around 2 million.
Some would no doubt suggest that Latino machismo prevents people from coming out—but the same day as Tijuana's parade, 2.4 million people turned out for gay pride in São Paulo, Brazil, police there said. Moreover, 160,000 hit the streets in Mexico City. São Paulo's parade is now the largest gay pride celebration in the world.
Maybe the fact that thousands of Tijuana residents now seem interested in watching a gay pride parade will entice more GLBT people into the streets next year.
Or at least 'L' and 'T' people. Gay men not in drag always have been the least-represented group at Tijuana pride—suggesting there might be something to the machismo theory after all.