Gay Pride in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Today is Gay Pride Day in Buenos Aires, and our friends Marcelo and Pablo are coming back into town to share it with us. We walk to the meeting point, and the 4 of us head down into the craziness of Plaza de Mayo, the huge square near the Casa Rosada.

This is the 2nd time I have been in the Plaza de Mayo during a political demonstration: the 1st was in May 2003, when Nestor Kirchner was sworn in as President of Argentina, the 1st elected President since the economic crisis of 2001. That was an incredibly moving day, the sense of hope hanging so powerfully in the air. Today is different, it is just a party: Argentina long-ago enshrined gay equality, and in Buenos Aires domestic partnerships have full status. Pablo and Marcelo don’t live in Buenos Aires, so can’t register their partnership, but they tell us that they are heading to Spain in January to visit Pablo’s family in Barcelona, and that they will take advantage of the new Spanish law, and will get married there.

At about 7:30 p.m., somebody finally decides that it is time for the parade to start, and out of chaos order emerges. It is actually quite amazing to see. We follow the parade up the Av. de Mayo to Congresos, the square in front of the Argentine legislature, where there is a big street party. By now it is getting dark, and just as at home during the summer, it is well after 9 p.m., so the 4 of us walk the 10 or so blocks back to our apartment for a glass of wine before we head out to dinner. A couple of bottles of wine later, it is midnight and we are ready for food. We are in no hurry tonight: Greg and I fly to Ushuaia tomorrow at 5:30 a.m., and we have all agreed that there is no point in going to bed tonight, the only sensible thing to do is to stay up until it is time to head to the airport, and then sleep during the 4 hour flight south.

We head to Babieca, a café around the corner from the apartment that we have adopted as our local, and where the staff has quickly become accustomed to seeing us. We have a leisurely meal, and all of a sudden it is after 2. We take a cab downtown to a bar that Paulo and Marcelo know, and find that it is just starting to get busy, and clearly everyone there is celebrating Pride.

We spend an hour chatting and then it is 3:30, time to say goodbye.

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