Why You Should celebrate LGBTQ+ Pride in Barcelona
By Chloe Bleyer, Tzell Travel Group
Being in Barcelona, Spain during the week of their Gay Pride celebration was probably the most unexpected and best experience of my trip. I arrived in Barcelona on day two of their Pride Week, and each day held a different set of events all over the city. From “drag races”—men and women running through the streets in outrageously high heels—to foam parties [what is that?], there was always something going on. Everyone, regardless of sexual preference or gender identity, was welcome. Barcelona has a very open and friendly culture, and their Pride Week truly conveyed that feeling. These events mainly occurred around Barceloneta, one of the city’s major beaches, but the vibe spread throughout the city.
Barcelona is lively even on a regular summer night; nightlife doesn’t start until midnight but runs until the sun comes up. Pride added an extra vibrancy to the entire experience. On the last day of Pride Week, there was a parade that went up Las Ramblas and ended at Barceloneta, which was a sensory experience like no other. Standing there on the sidelines under the hot sun, with only a slight breeze coming in off the water, I witnessed a truly awe-inspiring demonstration of the pride of the LGBTQ+ community. Participants were walking along with the ornate floats in a wide variety of clothing; from lavish drag outfits to regular street clothes and some just adorned in straight-up body paint. People were throwing around everything from confetti to informational pamphlets on HIV testing. The music was blaring and was only drowned out occasionally by the cheering crowd.
While visually, it was one of the most colorful parades I’ve ever seen, the most impressive part was how comfortable the people walking were. It was 90 degrees and there wasn’t any form of shade if you weren’t standing on a float, but that didn’t stop anyone from having the time of their lives, although the copious amounts of day drinking that happened beforehand probably helped. After the parade got to the beach, everyone broke into groups, some lounging on the beach, some retreating to their shelter for a siesta in the shade, and some heading straight for the nearest stretch of bars.
As someone who does not identify as being a part of the LGBTQ+ community, I was worried that I would feel like I was stepping on someone’s toes, but in the end, it was the opposite. If you were having fun and being respectful to LGBTQ+ community, you were welcomed with open arms and a cold drink.