Hundreds of Venezuelan LGBTIs marched Sunday in Caracas in the annual Pride parade, giving voice to their demands for inclusion and looking to the National Constituent Assembly for advancing equality in the country.
The march, which had a festive spirit and was accompanied by live music, was the 17th to take place in the capital as members of the LGBTI community across Latin America organized Pride events over the weekend to demand their rights.
Paola Martucci, a member of the Revolutionary Sex and Gender Diversity Alliance, explained that despite advances, there is still work to be done, "There are still very conservative elements within the Patriotic Pole (the broad front of parties that support the Bolivarian Revolution), but we keep the debate open because our socialism must be inclusive," she said.
Martucci further commented that the National Constituent Assembly will allow for steps to be taken regarding the rights of families headed by same-sex couples, emphasizing that sexual minorities remain vulnerable.
Due to the violent opposition protests that are now approaching their third month, two LGBTI marches took place this year. One of the marches was pro-Chavista, while the other was in support of the U.S.-backed anti-government forces.
The date commemorates the Stonewall Uprising of June 28, 1969, which was sparked by a New York Police Department raid on the Stonewall Inn, one of the few social spaces for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer people in New York City.
Supporters of the Bolivarian Revolution have undertaken a process of questioning and challenging unjust and degrading patriarchal social norms, which are reproduced on a daily basis.
Helena Ramirez Hernandez from ASGDRe called the Constituent Assembly “a new stage of the Bolivarian Revolution that seeks to overcome fascism, hate and terrorism financed by the U.S. government and carried out by the opposition in Venezuela,” according to Venezuela Analysis.
Ingrid Baron, an activist and member of the ASGDRe, explained that every year the march is an opportunity to demand tolerance and equality.
Brian Infante, a dancer with the group Paso Firme Crew, said that more training is needed for families so that they may learn to accept those members who have different sexual orientations.
In Bogota, Colombia, a spirited march also took place to demand the separation of church and state and an end to the intertwining of backward religious dogmatism and secular governance.
The LGBTI community in the Dominican Republic rallied for political equality under the slogan, “Rights here and now.” The event was accompanied by a commemoration of those members of the community who died as a result of hate crimes.