This One Time at the Madrid Gay Pride Festival

Yesterday New Zealand officially became the thirteenth country in the world to embrace gay marriage, hot on the heels of Uruguay who passed their bill last week.

While it is unbelievable that in 2013 only thirteen countries in the world legally recognize marriage between same-sex couples, I’m not going to focus on that. That we can focus on next week. Today I just want to celebrate the massive achievement for homosexuals in New Zealand and around the world!

**confetti and sparkles and champagne for errr’one**

funny-quote-gay-marriageI am not gay, not even a little bit, but I’m just not gay in the same way many people just are. I view homophobia in much the same way I view racism: ridiculous, disgusting and unacceptable.

Frankly, most of the time I’m just surprised that it’s even still a thing.

Remember how I said I was going to post stories from my amazing Eurotrip in 2009 with my beautiful friends Jade and Sam? Well, this seems like the perfect time to tell you about the Madrid Gay Pride Festival, the biggest party I have ever seen.

Madrid Orgullo or MADO is one Europe’s largest LGBT pride festivals and takes place over a whole week.

See this picture below? This was just ONE square. The whole city was taken over by just thousands and thousands of people. I have never seen so many people in my entire life.
6688_130953011534_538757_nBut I’m jumping ahead. We arrived in Madrid on a Friday evening to stay with Jade and Sam’s cousin, a Saffa who had moved to Madrid to finish his political studies. The sneaky bugger had done a bachelors at UCT and then managed to convince the Univeristy of Madrid to sign him up for a Masters, having never done an honours.

Shortly after our arrival he and his flatmate, a Brit, ordered us to put on a pair of flat shoes and our best party make-up. Surprise surprise, the gay pride festival was happening and we were going.

6688_130953036534_7160933_n6688_130953066534_4845675_nI don’t even know how to describe it. Thousands of people. Everyone was dressed up to the absolute nines. String vests and cowboy hats and pink feather boas were everywhere. Half naked men danced on balconies and on speakers. Bruno was rumoured to be making an appearance but we never spotted him.

We ran from square to square, holding on to each others shirts. We bought beers at exorbitant prices from illegal street vendors and danced wherever we stood. Music blasted out across the city. I never saw one fight, one unhappy face. It was the craziest, most exuberant atmosphere.

Jade and I never got hit on once, which was a nice change. The Europeans are quite a handsy bunch. Sam, however, had to watch his back.

If you’re in Europe in July, make sure you get to Madrid between the 3rd and 7th. This is one of those parties you need to experience.

6688_130961356534_1116180_n6688_130953076534_1689812_n6688_130961341534_4910446_nAnd for the record, these are the thirteen countries in the whole world who’s constitution supports marriage equality:

The Netherlands (since 2000)

Belgium (since 2003)

Canada (since 2005)

Spain (since 2005)

South Africa (since 2006)

Norway (since 2009)

Sweden (since 2009)

Iceland (since 2010)

Portugal (since 2010)

Argentina (since 2010)

Denmark (since 2012)

Uruguay (in 2013)

New Zealand (in 2013)

Gay marriage is “partly” legal in Brazil, Mexico and the USA (where it is legal in some states but not supported by the federal government).

Countries which have a proposed bill but which has not yet been passed include Andorra, Colombia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, Nepal and


3 thoughts on “This One Time at the Madrid Gay Pride Festival

    • We’re still the only ones in Africa! And we were fifth in the world. By the sounds of it, Colombia will probably be next. I think they’re the furthest along in the process.Although I know the Australians are hoping that New Zealand’s bill will out pressure on the Aus government and speed up the process there. Still a long way to go!

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