Celebrating LGBTQIA+ Pride in Peru
Pride Month events draw millions of people around the world every year and Peru is certainly no exception. At the end of June and through the beginning of July, members and allies of the LGBTQIA+ community go out to the streets of major cities to celebrate love, diversity, acceptance, and unashamed pride. “Marchas del Orgullo” are Pride Parades held in several major cities such as Lima, Huancayo, Ica, Tarapoto, and Trujillo.
Although the nation has made significant strides towards equality over the years, the Peruvian Constitution continues to define marriage as a union between man and woman. Same-sex marriage is not yet possible in Peru although it is likely on the horizon and they do recognize marriages performed abroad. Prominent representatives, politicians, and advocates such as Luisa Revilla Urcia and Carlos Bruce, have been fighting desperately for this much needed change.
Luisa Revilla Urcia is a politician in the northwestern province of Trujillo and on October 5, 2014, she became the first out transgender person elected to public office in the generally conservative country. Luisa stated, “I am going to promote equality and I will say no to discrimination. We want everyone to have equal access, to succeed and to achieve their goals. When there is no discrimination, there is pacification. Infrastructure and modernity is important, but promoting values and showing concern for the people matters even more.”
Carlos Bruce became the country’s first openly gay congressman in May 2014. Although he did not succeed, Carlos Bruce aimed to reform legislature to allow civil unions for same-sex couples as well as pass anti-discrimination laws. While opponents argued that his sexuality was a conflict of interest, Bruce optimistically told supporters, “The fact that the world is moving forward helps. Our country will also soon move forward.”
While the Peruvian government continues to hold its conservative stance despite advocacy from politicians, other organizations have been leading the way to help serve the community. PROMSEX is a feminist NGO that through advocacy, knowledge, generation and alliances, helps people understand sexuality and reproduction autonomy, dignity, justice and equality.
PROMSEX inspires feminist leadership at the local, national, and regional levels to have the capacty for innovation and to strengthen inclusive alliances for political public advocacy on Sexual Rights and Reproductive Rights. In 2019, PROMSEX established a five year path that aims to find a fairer society for everyone, free from gender stereotypes and prejudices by developing clearly defined lines of intervention and indicators.
These strategic areas of change have a universal goal of uniting the Peruvian nation at the societal, public, and individual levels by 2024 and with the help of every business, organization, and individual, this could very well be a possibility as the country continues to strive towards equality.