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Review: Ibiza does Gay Pride proud

5 day extravaganza

Going to a Gay Pride event is always a highly charged bundle of fun. Ibiza Gay Pride gave the LGBT community five days of extravagant entertainment, easily beating the usual one day you get on most other places in the world. The best bits are the events that everyone can join in with, so what better day to experience that than the day of the Gay Rights Parade.

As we arrived in the port area of Ibiza Town, there seemed little sign of things to come on the street. People were excitedly asking us where the march would come from: all seemed thrilled at the prospect. Going down to where the parade began, we met with the many people about to get started with the procession of floats. The La Troya team of extravagantly dressed drag queens and handsome men posed for photographs and put on a show for the TV cameras. Everyone was excited to be taking part in this display of liberty and inclusiveness.

Drag queens of all ages

Then suddenly, it was off. Lorries laden with people with all kinds of amazing costumes and pumping out different music started to move slowly down Avenida Santa Eulalia. There was a bit of Cher, tonnes of gay anthems and dancefloor classics greeting everyone lined up to watch. There were drag queens of all ages, shapes and sizes, some with beards and all with lots of glitter, sparkle and beautifully executed over-the-top make up. One float had people with all the costumes from Priscilla Queen of the Desert and certainly won the prize for the most colourful display on the day.

The best part of it was the fact that the crowd watching this brilliant spectacle was made up of all kinds of people, gay and straight and all waving to the floats as they snaked along the street. As well as the drag show, we got guys in leather and Robocop-style visors, a couple of bare bottomed dancers on one truck and just loads of people in bright costume, showering gifts of sweets, goodie bags and even cosmetics at the gathered crowd.

Dancing, clapping and huge smiles

The extravaganza continued down to the new port stage to be met by an even bigger crowd of cheering onlookers. As the parade folded into the port, music started to blast out from the stage where the Gay Rights statement was read, thanking all for their enthusiastic support. Then we were treated to two hours of music and stage dancers to maintain the happy mood of all around us. More bearded drag queens drifted by as we joined in the dancing and cheering on of the entertainment. And what a sight it was to behold: gay couples kissing, children dancing, families clapping and everyone smiling huge smiles.

When the music ended, it still wasn't over as everyone drifted up to the gay area to keep the party going on the streets. It was possible to hear all kinds of Pride stories being swapped; it's fair to say all had taken a bit of something special from the day. Ibiza really had done Gay Pride proud.

WORDS | Julian Heathcote PHOTOS | Aide Monge

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