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Review: Marching along with Ibiza Gay Pride 2016

Colour, spectacle and fun

A profusion of colours, drag queens, flesh, fake brides and bondage. Yes, the return of Ibiza Gay Pride and the Rights March on Sunday, which took to the streets of Ibiza Town in compact form and with lots of vigour and willing. The march was the culmination of a week long programme of events from art to culture to club nights. This though is the event that everyone can join in, both the gays and the straights and everyone in between.

Starting from the harbour, the floats and marchers proceeded up through the main street of Avenida Bartomeu de Rosello, pumping out dance music with happy smiling faces, impossible wigs, crazy painted faces and bodies with the cheers of onlookers buzzing away in the background. This day is the day when amidst the display and madness, we know why we are all here – we are here to support the rights of gay men, lesbians and the transgender community - and what a way to do it.

The floats carried casts of characters, some wildly dancing with plenty of touches of cheekiness and the risqué. The crowds were showered with a mixture of sweets, flyers and condoms being thrown to the four winds, with people cheering and hurriedly scooping up the booty. A float supporting the gay bars of Calle de la Virgen passed by with a legion of dancing figures some half naked some in cool costumes and all having lots of fun. Down below a crew of crazy characters whisked by with balloon tentacles of bright yellow, purple and blue attached to their backs and pointed to the heavens.

The parade snaked along the streets all the way to Plaza de Rey where it ended with a declaration for equal rights. This was followed by a moment's silence to remember all those in the world who are suffering from homophobia and transphobia, with a special mention of the recent attack in Orlando. As the crowd dispersed, the action moved to the Feria de Muestras for a closing party with special guest, Spanish pop diva Marta Sanchez.

The glittering display and energy of Gay Pride marches is both to celebrate individuality whilst saying, “we are all the same”. We look forward to the parade growing and showing us that Ibiza's reputation as a gay destination continues to shine.

WORDS | Julian Heathcote PHOTOGRAPHY | Peter Young

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