Pride Parade in Venezuela: The Struggle for LGBTQI+ Rights

Huge crowds rallied in Caracas to demand equal rights for the LGBTQI+ community and protection from the Venezuelan state.

Caracas, July 3, 2023 (venezuelanalysis.com) – With rainbow flags, music and colorful homemade costumes, the LGBTQI+ community celebrated the country’s Annual Pride Parade in Caracas to demand an end to discrimination.

Under the slogan “Equal in dignity and rights”, organizers estimated that more than 50,000 people participated in Sunday’s march from Parque Miranda to Zona Rental in central Caracas, where they gathered to enjoy cultural performances and speeches from LGBTQI+ activists.

“This is a great opportunity to be free. We get this day to make the best out of it because on other days we have to hide due to all the discrimination,” a demonstrator told the press.

The event made headlines for the number of people that brought together, mostly youth, surpassing last year’s march which had around 20,000 attendees. The large rally was likewise accompanied by grassroots feminist collectives as well as human rights and workers’ rights organizations.

“In Venezuela, women and dissidents [LGBTQI+ people] are raising their voices to demand that the secular state does not allocate [more] resources to churches that promote hatred and intolerance,” the CCURA trade union movement wrote on Twitter.

In recent months, some 2,000 churches have been remodeled as part of a governmental plan to restore religious sites, drawing criticism from feminist, LGBTQI+ and leftist circles.

During Sunday’s Pride March, demonstrators demanded gender identity rights, same-sex marriage, parental rights for same-sex couples, and the inclusion of the LGBTQI+ community in the government’s social programs and policies, especially healthcare.

In 2014, activists introduced a proposal in the National Assembly (AN) for same-sex marriage that has not been reviewed yet alongside many other petitions for equal rights.

Activists also demanded an end to hate crimes after registering ten murders last year, according to the Venezuelan Observatory of LGBTIQ+ Violence.