‘Being gay is being free’ – Buenos Aires marchers share what Pride means to them

Argentinians have an attitude, whether it’s for better or worse. That’s what makes Buenos Aires such a unique city to live in – everyone is a character. At this year’s 2022 Marcha del Orgullo, the community showed up in full force to dance, march, and celebrate all things queer, demonstrating without a doubt that there are no basic bitches here.

Who is ready for the sexual and gender revolution? (Photo: Author)

The female power at Pride was no joke. Argentinian women came out in droves, so the femme fatale was a presence to be reckoned with. (Though there was no shortage of boys.) The passion that took the streets of Buenos Aires like a colorful gay storm embodies that Argentina was the first Latin American country to legalize gay marriage in 2010 – before the United States.

The absolute best slogan ever of the day was “El sexo sucio y el planeta limpio,” which means “dirty sex, clean planet,” and that’s exactly what future generations deserve.

Buenos Aires Pride 2023 was not without real-life thirst traps, or is that art? (Photo: Author)

Gay Cities had the chance to march shoulder-to-shoulder with the city’s impressive queer community, and we asked them to share what Pride and gayness in all its glory mean to them.

Julio César can take us to hell if there’s bottle service. (Video: Adrian Blanco)

Julio César: “Soy homosexual desde que tengo 18 años y estoy orgulloso de pertenecer a la diversidad LGBT. El mayor significado para mí de pertenecer a la comunidad es que expreso ser libre sin etiqueta y sin tabú.”

I’ve identified as gay since I turned 18, and I am proud to be a part of the diverse LGBT. The significance of this community for me means expressing yourself freely without labels or taboos.

Adrian Blanco wearing every gay knight’s uniform for Pride, pierced nipples included. (Video: Fabian Paublott)

Adrian Blanco: Para mi ser gay significa fuerza y aceptación. Dejas aún lado todos esos comentarios negativos que escuchaste desde niño y eres capaz de aceptar a todas las personas por lo que sienten, son por dentro y no por sus gustos.

For me being gay means strength and acceptance. You leave aside all those negative comments you have heard since you were a child, and you’re capable of accepting every person for what they feel and who they are inside, and not for their tastes.

Boys, boys, boys. Need we say more? (Adrian Blanco, Julio César, Fabian Paublott)(Photo: Author)

OK, we’re breaking your regularly scheduled programming to give a piece of background on this Venezuelan throuple. Yes, you read right. We did not find them on purpose but like a miracle: by accident. A gay man interviewed them, so you know Gay Cities (me) got the 411. Adrian has dated Fabian for nine years, and Julio came into their lives (also not unlike a miracle) nine months ago. The rest is throuple history. But if you must know, Adrian and Fabian own a pole dancing studio, and Julio works as a barber and stylist. They met at a mutual friend’s party here in Buenos Aires. Adrian says he teaches flexibility.

Pride Knight Fabian Paublott knows the best way to fight the haters is with a smile. (Video: Adrian Blanco)

Fabian Paublott: “Para mí, ser gay significa un constante proceso de aceptación.”

For me, being gay means a constantly evolving acceptance process.

Shiva Emperatriz takes fabulous to Disney Villain heights. (Photo: Author)

Shiva Emperatriz: “Estoy orgulloso por los padres que me tocaron y me dieron la fuerza, la proteccion y la libertad para hoy ser el hombre que soy.. Ellos han sido el viento que impulso mis alas de colores rumbo al arcoiris…”

I am proud of the parents who raised me and gave me the strength, protection, and freedom to be the man I am today. They have been the wind that propelled my wings to fly high over the colors of the rainbow.

Max Freeman holds a sign we forgot to read because we were staring at his abs. Did you do it too? (Photo: Author)

Max Freeman: “Amo vivir en un país donde tengo la libertad de expresarme enteramente cómo soy. Mi meta, vencer el prejuicio, la discriminación y promover el respeto a la libre expresión.”

I love living in a country where I have the freedom to express myself fully as I am. My goal is to defeat prejudice and discrimination and promote respect for all people freely expressing themselves.

17-year-olds Azul and Fermamus know you’re never too young to celebrate being part of the best community on Earth. (Azul, Fermamus) (Photo: Author)

Azul: “Significa poder ser y sentirme libre, sin ningun escrupulo o miedo a ser juzgade. Hay que disfrutar cada momento.”

It means feeling and acting free without hesitation or fear of being judged. You have to enjoy every moment.

Fermamus: “La libertad de no tener que fingir quien soy, la posibilidad de expresarme y disfrutar la única vida que tengo.”

The freedom to not have to pretend to be anyone else. The possibility to express myself and enjoy the only life I have.

Non-binary designer Bonita Brada proves leather is for every season! (Photo: Author)

 Bonita Brada: “Es la inconformidad a lo que nos dijieron que seamos!”

It is the refusal to conform to what they told us to be!

Benshamine and Jøta show us how to smize like you’re Anna Wintour and Tom Ford. (Photo: Author)

Benshamine: “Para mi el orgullo es el sentimiento que me invade al reconocer que vivo y amo como quiero , sentir que soy libre y que tengo derechos que me acompañan al igual que personas maravillosas que conforman una comunidad que ayuda , lucha y vive en un presente que esta cambiando.”

For me, Pride is the feeling that takes over me when I realize that I live and love as I want, feeling that I am free and that I have rights that accompany me as well as wonderful people who make up a community that helps, fights and lives in a present that is ever-changing.

Jøta: “Ser libre frente al mundo y frente a mi mismo. Ser gay no es ser valiente, sino ser libre.“

To be free in front of the world and towards myself. Being gay is not being brave but being free.

Model Marian Solver poses effortlessly to let us know Pride is all about pulling a fashion moment. (Photo: Author)

Marian Solver: “Orgullo significa poder sentirse bien con cómo uno es, sin importar la opinión ajena y la de uno mismo, ya que si yo misma no siento orgullo de cómo soy, no estoy 100% aceptándome.”

For me, pride means feeling good about who I am, regardless of the opinion of others and oneself, because if I am not proud of who I am, I am not 100% accepting myself.

We assume Monica Estefania and Mafer Brigada must be friends with Kathy Griffin.

Mafer Brigada: “Significa vivir tu sexualidad como quieras. Sin miedo a que te juzguen pero sobre todo sin dudar de ti mismo. Ser queer es como un espectro que vas desarrollando durante toda tu vida. A mi no me gustan las etiquetas. Me gustan las personas por como vibran conmigo. No por sus genitales.”

It means living your sexuality as you want. Without fear of being judged but, above all, without doubting yourself. Being queer is like a spectrum that you develop throughout your life. I don’t like labels; I like people for how they vibrate with me. Not for their genitals.

Argentinian queer artist Cazzu performs all her beloved hits. She also gave a shout-out with her troupe to all the missing LGBTQ folks, including Tehuel. (Photo: Author)
What is more heartwarming than queer joy? (Photo: Author)
The streets of Buenos Aires have never looked better – happier. It’s a funny thing, liberation. (Photo: Author)
It’s OK; we don’t mind if you bite. (Photo: Author)
Tehuel was a name on everyone’s lips at this year’s Pride, despite the fact the government refuses to say it. The “Donde esta Tehuel?” campaign was launched after a trans boy went missing, and authorities did nothing about it. (Photo: Author)
Like a bedazzled phoenix, we rise. (Photo: Author)
You can’t host a major Argentinian event without an “Asado.” (Photo: Author)
Young love – isn’t it sweet? (Photo: Author)
“Sexo sucio, y planeta limpio!” Now that’s a revolution we can get behind. (Video: Author)

For nightlife activities, the list was long. But we’d choose a queer Britney Spears-themed party every time, hosted at UNICLUB. What better way is there to pay tribute to a legend than by becoming them? It’s a truth drag queens have known for a long time.

Dance away, kitties.

Dancing to Britney Spears is like a reverse exorcism. (Video: Author)

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