Ecuador’s largest city Guayaquil celebrated its ninth Gay Pride parade and festival this weekend, with an estimated 9,000 to 11,000 people attending, according to local media sources.
The country’s capital city Quito also held a Gay Pride celebration on 28 June, and while for Guayaquil this was the ninth Gay Pride event, it was the first year the parade received official support from the mayor’s office, according to activist Diane Rodriguez.
Known as the founder of LGBTI rights group Silhouette Association X, and as the first transgender woman in Ecuador to legally change her name, Rodriguez spoke to Gay Star News about the importance of this Gay Pride in Guayaquil.
‘To be honest, it’s the first Gay Pride I can say that I’ve enjoyed. It was very different from others I’ve been to, it was very moving.’
This was also the first time Silhouette Association X, a grassroots organization campaigning for LGBTI rights in Ecuador since 2008, participated in the Gay Pride festivities.
While a popular destination for LGBTI tourists, Ecuador’s laws lack discrimination protections for LGBTI people and do not officially recognize any type of same-sex union.
In a country plagued with media reports of teens escaping remote gay conversion clinics, these Gay Pride parades expose citizens to the often misunderstood and discrimination LGBTI community.
‘We will keep moving forward, and I’m sure next year we’ll have more people,’ added Rodriguez.
For more news photos on Ecuador and Latin America, follow Gay Star Travel Facebook and Twitter. In the mean time, enjoy these photos of Guayaquil’s Gay Pride parade courtesy of Silhouette Association X.