MADRID (Reuters) – Thousands of people danced, beat drums and waved flags through the streets of Madrid on Saturday as the Spanish capital’s gay pride parade returned after being canceled in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many wore rainbow face masks at the parade, usually one of the world’s largest LGBT pride events, which this year under COVID-19 restrictions did not feature the usual floats and had a limit of 25,000 attendees.
“I feel really happy because we have the space to protest to come out and demand respect for ourselves as human beings,” said Catherine Lopez, 36.
Local media reported it was the biggest public event in the city since before Spain imposed its first COVID-19 lockdown in mid-March 2020.
An LGBT police association cheered “the police are also proud”.
A major theme of this year’s parade was transgender rights. It had the slogan “Human rights are not negotiated, they are legislated: Integral Trans Law Now.
On Tuesday, parliament approved a draft bill that will pave the way for gender self-identification, the largest European country so far to consider the law.
(Reporting by Silvio Castellanos; writing by Jessica Jones; Editing by David Gregorio)