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Colorful LGBT parade explodes in size

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The 15th parade for sexual diversity in Mérida attracts over 1,000 LGBT marchers and allies. Photo: La Jornada

Mérida, Yucatán — The 2017 annual LGBT-pride parade was roughly twice as large — and just as colorful — as last year’s.

Diario de Yucatán estimates that about 1,200 people gathered at Mejorada Park for the XV March for Sexual Diversity in Yucatán. The weather, which has been unsettled lately, cooperated as the group marched to the Plaza Grande for an upbeat and peaceful demonstration.

Organizers emphasized that the parade was for everyone who’s against homophobia and transphobia, and indeed allies and friends of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people were part of the panorama.

The march, they said, was a call to respect the human rights of people with diverse sexual orientations.

The 15th parade for sexual diversity in Mérida. Photo: La Jornada

Among those present were the United States consul David Micó, with personnel from the Consulate. Floats and marching contingents included people in various states of drag and other costume, but mainly people in street clothes, some of them waving rainbow flags.

Although young people dominated the streets, people of all ages took part. Onlookers were mixed, some encouraging and some appearing dismayed.

The success of the event represents 15 years of struggle and progress, said Alfredo Morales Candiani, president of the Association for Cultural Rights and Sexual Diversity.

Public attitudes have softened toward same-sex relationships, but marriage rights are still a cutting-edge issue. Courts have been slow to keep up.

“What unites us is inclusion, we want to be taken into account,” said “Helena,” attired in a quinceañera dress with sequins and carrying a bouquet of artificial roses. “Many of us did not have a party at fifteen years,” she lamented in La Jornada.

“Love has no creed, no color, no sexual preference. We are all the same,” read one of the banners, in Spanish.

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