First ever sexual diversity march in Merida

For the first time in Merida's history, LGBTI groups held a march to demand respect for sexual diversity. The march followed a week of activities, including public film screenings, a candle light vigil for victims of violence and suicide, public kissing in the plaza, and paper mural painting. 


Activists and marchers were excited to finally be visible and proud in a city and country which places strong emphasis on Church values. Reactions from observers were mixed, with one woman muttering, “What has happened to Merida?”, and as I sat and waited for the march to start, another woman told me, “God doesn’t like this”.  I asked her why not.

“Oh its just bad. These people are young and good looking, they don’t need to be gay.”

Without much time to think, I responded that I thought wars were bad, and all people here were doing was loving eachother and not hurting anyone. When the woman had left, a man on the other side of me said, 

“Yes, its good to see this. In my time, people just repressed how they felt, stayed hidden, its nice to see that this generation can come out like this. Fifteen years ago, someone would have called the police by now.”

The march was organised by Colectivo Almas, the United Socialist Bloc for Homosexual Liberation – Merida, LGBTI Pride – Merida, and SexoDiverso.

Photos by Tamara Pearson – Venezuelanalysis.com