On Saturday, the Sex and Gender Diversity Revolutionary Alliance (ASGDRe in Spanish) reclaimed the main square of downtown Caracas hosting an all day event to declare Venezuela free of Lesbo-Trans-Homophobia. The event was organized in conjunction with the state owned and operated national chain Bookstores of the South (Librerias del Sur) and included: sexual education forums, showcases of relevant literature from and about the movement as well as a massive display of public affection with same sex couples and trans couples kissing.
The event was the first popular movement organized event since the issuing of Decree 006 on May 17th, International Day Against Homophobia, which declared the South American nation's capital free of homophobia, transphobia and any other social discrimination.
Passerby engaged with event organizers to debate the social conservatism that still pervades throughout Venezuelan society. Event organizers told VA that while some people initially were very taken aback by the visibility of the event due to their religious notions regarding sex and gender diversity, many people engaged in respectful debate about gender equality and equal rights for same sex couples.
In recent months, the struggle for same sex civil marriage in Venezuela was given the green light by the Supreme Court of Justice. Currently, the discussion to push forward the proposal rests on the shoulders of the opposition-led National Assembly which have not moved in either direction on the matter.
The event also comes amid the community's outrage following the local authorities' discrimination and harrassment of two Lesbian couples who were affectionate in public spaces in Caracas on two separate occassions.
Along with ASGDRe and Bookstores of the South, the event was sponsored by Equality Venezuela (Venezuela Igualitaria), Urban Ciclist Movement (Movimiento de Ciclismo Urbano), School of Popular Feminism (Escuela de Feminismo Popular) and Divas of Venezuela (Divas de Venezuela).