Sometimes in November Pt.2

Friday, December 02, 2005

Well, here’s why I came out in the paper last Tuesday here in PV. I participated in a march for gay rights. Simple as that.

A few weeks earlier I saw a poster on the bathroom wall of my favorite martini bar that said a march for gay and lesbian rights was being held on Nov 28. I was intrigued. I wasn’t sure if I would participate (it was at fucking 11am), but my interested was stirred. As time went by, I began thinking about the march even more. After that somewhat stressful incident last week at the music festival I was in charge of, I was a little shaken and was not in the mood for more controversy or trouble. And, after all, it was at fucking 11am on a Monday, who the hell did these queens think they were?

But there I was, at 11am, in front of the Sheraton hotel, ready to march. Of course I was a little scared, I had no idea what to expect. Would we be booed? Ignored? Stoned? When I arrived they gave me a free rainbow T-shirt and I stood there waiting for something to happen. There were like 20 people there, and a large SUV with an even larger rainbow flag tied on one of its sides. And, of course, a car carrying huge speakers and playing techno music, haha. The Organizer was pointed out to me, and he looked rather worried.

We were about half Mexicans, half foreigners when I arrived, and there was this very formal-looking lady talking to the press. This older American male couple walked up and took some of the free T-shirts, and then the formal-looking lady walked up to them and started talking to them. After a few minutes, they took off the T-shirts and they left. I was intrigued, what the hell had she said to them that made them leave?

She came up closer to me and spoke to an acquaintance mine who is an American citizen. Finally, I was gonna hear what she had to say. She introduced herself as the local American Consul and she told him that under Mexican law foreigners were not allowed to participate in any type of political manifestations, and that they might run the risk of being arrested and deported. Whoa, this was serious. My acquaintance looked worried and promptly left. I was a little annoyed, but understood.

Then one of the guys who was there told me “I know that lady and her husband, and he really hates gays, that’s why she’s here”. With these words, something in me went off. I was enraged this bitch was coming here to intimidate warn people out of marching for their rights. Who knows, maybe she was making all of it up (even though I did recall something like that happening in Chiapas and Guadalajara). Maybe the guy who told me was making it all up. But all the foreigners were leaving, and our already small group got even smaller.

So I got closer to her and heard she was telling another couple “Well, when you go to jail, I can go visit you and make sure you’re alright”. And that was it, I began arguing with her, telling her to stop intimidating people, her job was to warn them, not scare them out of participating. I then asked her if she always went to any protest in town to “warn” people out of participating or if she just went to certain protests she didn’t agree with personally, and she got really defensive about it. She ended up getting really mad and turning away. I don’t think I accomplished much (and sort of agreed with what she was doing, if it was true), but at least I got that off my chest. I just hope I won’t have to go to the American Consulate for anything anytime soon, haha.

The Organizer and his assistant, the co-Organizer (who I later found out were partners in a local salon, haha, can’t get much more stereotypical than that), made the call and, finally, at 12pm ,we started off for City Hall. We were like 15 people walking behind a rainbow-flagged SUV and a mini-van with huge speakers playing techno music. I tried not to see how silly we looked and decided just to hold up my sign and walk along (the sign doubled as a sun-shield, haha). While we were walking down the city’s main avenue, and cars began passing on one side of us, some of them began to honk their horns in appreciation. Others yelled “Hoo-ray” and gave us thumbs-up and all. It was neat. Then we headed to the Malecón. Then the people got really enthusiastic. We were applauded and cheered. Some were even putting on T-shirts and joining our procession. The foreigners who joined us were warned, but this old Canadian couple said “Fuck it” and followed us through.

When we got to city hall, there was already a large crowd there anticipating our arrival; we had grown to about 30 people at this point. This is were it got good.

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