Puerto Ricans pride themselves on being the LGBTQIA capital of the Caribbean. With at least 4 pride events taking place every year in June (in the capital city San Juan, in Cabo Rojo, in Ponce and in Vieques), this archipelago located 1,000 miles southeast of Miami, Florida, is indeed a very friendly place to celebrate Pride !
The first Puerto Rican pride took place in San Juan in 1990 when a group of men and women bravely marched down Ashford Avenue, in front of hundreds of people. This first march was a celebration to honor those who had died during the Aids epidemic in the 80s, but also to express outrage against police persecution and regulations meant to silence the community.
Along the years, the “LGBTTIQ Pride March of Puerto Rico” in San Juan has been a pillar of the LGBTQ Puerto Ricans fight for equality, social justice and human rights and to reaffirm their claims and presence as members of the Puerto Rican society. The parades were the forefront of their fight for the decriminalization of homosexuality (obtained in 2003), against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in the workplace (illegal since 2013), for marriage equality (2015).
Now, proud Puerto Ricans continue to march every year for better health services on the island, the full recognition of trans identities or the prohibition of conversion therapies. They fight to achieve equality for all and to stop hate crimes against their people, especially trans people.
The San Juan pride parade is the biggest pride march in Puerto Rico. It usually takes place during the first weekend in June, followed one week after by the second biggest LGBTQ event in Puerto Rico, Orgullo Boquerón in Cabo Rojo. What about the route? The parade usually starts at the Parque del Indio, Condado and ends at the Parque del Tercer Milenio, Escambrón, a beachside park, with a massive stage for entertainment.