“Whoever you love, Madrid loves you”. This was the motto chosen for the WorldPride 2017.
Coinciding with the 40th anniversary of the first Pride protest in Spain, Madrid became this year’s WorldPride host, the most important event for the LGBT Community. So, I felt compelled to stay in the city and experience for myself what was going on during those days. In addition, it happened to be the 30th anniversary of the first celebrations held in the neighborhood of Chueca.
How the WorldPride Madrid was celebrated
A huge variety of events took place around the city during the Worldpride, such as sporting and cultural events, art performances, concerts… For the first time, a Pride “Village” was assembled. It was an open space full of stalls. But, what I did not want to miss out was the yearly High Heel Race, in Chueca; an original race in which using heels is the only requirement to participate. This was great fun, not many people were involved in it but it was so funny to see the performance around it.
The Pride Parade, the central act of the festival, marched along the main streets of Madrid up to Colón Square on the 1st of July. More than 2 million people from all over the world walked claiming for human rights for the LGTB community. Afterwards, open-air concerts took place in several places of the city, standing out the ones at the ‘Puerta de Alcalá’, remarked as the place of freedom rights in Spain.
It was quite complicated, not to say impossible, to flow with the parade unless you had started with them. The huge crowd and the security deployed this year had nothing to do with the Pride Parade I took part in, five years ago. Back then, you could follow the trucks, mix with the LGTB community and move along with them.