Old Age, Pride, Memory / Vejez, Orgullo, Memoria

La versión en español está después de la versión en inglés.

The theme of Torremolinos Gay Pride 2023 is “Old Age, Pride, Memory: Taking care of our legacy.” That alone makes me proud. I hope my photos give you an idea of the range of people represented in the parade. Many of the huge, flatbed trucks were filled with often over-exposed people having a riotous time. It doesn’t tell the whole story, although it’s easy to focus on that and miss the rest.

One thing I’m not used to from my earlier Pride parade experiences, is the amount of alcohol being openly consumed by the paraders and the bystanders. It was a bit much for mostly sober me, especially when two guys next to me were drunk to the point of completely obnoxious. People on the trucks were often passing cans of beer to people in the crowd.

Any time I’ve attended a Pride parade, I’ve felt very alone. And it’s not just the parades. I felt that way in groups when I was young and I assumed it would change once I came out of the closet. It didn’t. I always somehow feel like I don’t quite belong. I’m still not one of “them.” I wonder how many others feel the same way. San Geraldo and I have discussed it and he has the same experience. Completely engulfed in the crowd and completely alone at the same time. We talked about it before the parade and SG decided to stay home and see it through my photos.

I made note of some of the groups represented (not easy to do when most of the trucks were emblazoned with a collection of sponsors — law firms, rental agents, and the like). This will be the year I’ll attempt to connect with one or another of the LGBTQ+ groups in Torremolinos. I also need to get absorbed in popular Spanish music. Trucks would come by booming some song and everyone of every age would start singing along. That really made me feel out of it. I enjoyed the parade more today while going through my photos, and I’m not sorry I went. A big shout out to the drag queens. Long may they reign.


El tema del Orgullo Gay Torremolinos 2023 es “Edad, Orgullo, Memoria: Cuidando nuestro legado”. Solo eso me enorgullece. Espero que mis fotos les den una idea de la variedad de personas representadas en el desfile. Muchos de los enormes camiones de plataforma estaban llenos de personas a menudo sobreexpuestas que pasaban un momento desenfrenado. No cuenta toda la historia, aunque es fácil concentrarse en eso y perderse el resto.

Una cosa a la que no estoy acostumbrado de mis experiencias anteriores del desfile del Orgullo, es la cantidad de alcohol que los participantes y los transeúntes consumen abiertamente. Fue un poco demasiado para mí, en su mayoría sobrio, especialmente cuando dos tipos a mi lado estaban borrachos hasta el punto de ser completamente desagradables. Las personas en los camiones a menudo pasaban latas de cerveza a la gente en la multitud.

Cada vez que he asistido a un desfile del Orgullo, me he sentido muy solo. Y no son solo los desfiles. Me sentía así en grupos cuando era joven y supuse que cambiaría una vez que saliera del armario. No lo hizo. De alguna manera siempre siento que no pertenezco del todo. Todavía no soy uno de “ellos”. Me pregunto cuántos otros se sienten de la misma manera. San Geraldo y yo lo hemos discutido y él tiene la misma experiencia. Completamente envuelto en la multitud y completamente solo al mismo tiempo. Lo hablamos antes del desfile y SG decidió quedarse en casa y verlo a través de mis fotos. Aunque lo considero un evento importante, no sé si volveré a ir el próximo año.

Tomé nota de algunos de los grupos representados (no es fácil de hacer cuando la mayoría de los camiones estaban adornados con una colección de patrocinadores: bufetes de abogados, agentes de alquiler y similares). Este será el año en el que intentaré conectar con alguno de los colectivos LGBTQ+ de Torremolinos. También necesito absorberme en la música popular española. Los camiones vendrían haciendo sonar alguna canción y todos, de todas las edades, comenzarían a cantar. Eso realmente me hizo sentir fuera de lugar. Disfruté más el desfile hoy mientras revisaba mis fotos, y no me arrepiento de haber ido. Un gran saludo a las drag queens. Que reinen por mucho tiempo.

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Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

31 thoughts on “Old Age, Pride, Memory / Vejez, Orgullo, Memoria”

  1. I’m glad you went, too, so we could experience it through your eyes and camera. It looks like a fun, colorful parade to watch. I’m with you on the alcohol bit, though. I drink and don’t mind others drinking, but I hate to be around an obnoxious drunk! (or a mean one, for that matter)

    1. Kelly:
      The two guys near me were drunk really to the point of disgusting. One of the guys were accosting the marchers and made some very obviously uncomfortable. And by that time it was too late to find another good spot for photos.

  2. Michell, I completely understand the feeling of being “alone” in a crowd, even among like minded people. Sometimes it can seem overwhelming and draining with all that energy. My ex-husband was an extrovert (to say the least) and I often had to take time to decompress after being around him and his friends. lol

  3. I understand what you are saying, Mitch. Many years ago when Ron and I thought thought ‘we were the only gays in the village’ so to speak, we were surprised when we discovered we weren’t when we went to Toronto and Montreal.
    We thought this was going to be a lot of fun but after a few years discovered it was not the scene for us. We just did not fit into that predominantly sexualized culture.
    And now it appears the pride parades are being taken over by commercial interests. There’s a buck to made.
    I am happy for all gays/straights who find comfort in whatever ‘scene’ they prefer.
    Just as straight people have different interests, gays do as well.

    1. Jim:
      I’ve never fit in that overly sexualized culture. I also felt alone in the university group I marched with as well as when I marched with the gay and lesbian center I volunteered for. Even with my hippy friends, I tended to often be in my own head. With hippies, at least, that works. “What a cool guy.)

  4. Love those two elderly queens in the cerise evening gloves and tutus!

    Pride in London has always been a pivotal date in our “Social Calendar” (and has been integral to my being since my first one in 1985, and every one since 1991, when I escaped my first relationship and reclaimed my life). I’ve seen it grow and change – a lot – but it’s still important, and we support the cause and get to dress up in a co-ordinated theme every year, so it’s months in the planning… Jx

    1. Jon:
      My sense is that you thrive in these settings. I envy that. I loved some of the matching outfits. I think my fave were the two guys in white shorts and shirts and rainbow suspenders. There was something so retro about them.

  5. Looks like a nice gathering. It is good to see it was not all 20-somethings with 28 inch waists.

  6. Yes, there’s not any “open” public drinking during Pride Parades in Canada. Organizers attempt to keep it contained to the big beer gardens after the parade. And also yes, I often get that “alone in a crowd” feeling at big Pride festivals where I don’t really know anyone other than the person(s) I’m with. It was more fun back in Winnipeg in the 90s when Pride was smaller (in the hundreds instead of thousands) and I knew a ton of people in the LGBTQ community. I genuinely felt part of “the scene” in those days, LOL! But it was also a lot of work to be that connected — like having a second full-time job. Being young(er) made all the difference too!

    I enjoyed all the Pride photos you took — my fave was the Pharaoh with the rainbow fan and the drawn-on abs, LOL!

    1. Debra:
      San Diego had a great festival for two days that opened at the end of the parade. Within that space was a beer garden. I liked how that worked. That alone feeling is something I’ve always experienced whether I knew everyone around me or not. I used to think it was just me. I loved that Pharaoh. No posing there!

  7. I enjoy a cocktail or ten, but out at a parade, Pride or otherwise, surrounded by even one person who cannot hold their booze annoys me.
    We attended Pride in California, and Miami and Key West and here in Columbia. I know how you feel, though we often meet, or see friends, at the event. i think it’s a reminder that while we are all LGBTQ+ we are not all the same, living the same, looking the same, acting the same. I think it’s enough that we are out there making our presence felt.

    1. Bob:
      In San Diego, we were participants, activists, and knew so many people. And I still felt alone and somehow not how I was supposed to be. I know I’m not the only one. Still, so glad to see everyone making their presence known.

    1. Urspo:
      I so hope the Americanization of hate doesn’t reach these shores. It’s nice they’ve been on pause for decades in much of Spain.

  8. My experience is pretty much the same as Jim’s, however I am still and probably will always be wary and hesitant about any person who “comes onto” me. I experienced as a young teen sexual abuse by a neighbour which you would think I would be over it by now ~ not the case, I have always been unable to sustain many relationships, male or female because of trust issues. This is just the tip of an iceberg so very massive.

    1. Ron:
      I’m glad you’ve been able to “sustain” Jim. The damage from abuse lasts forever in some way or another.

  9. Wow, your comments about feeling “alone in a crowd” echo mine exactly. I am an introvert by nature and I really don’t like those over sexualized events. I guess to each his own, and the LGBT+ community has many different types of individuals who make up that rainbow. It took me a long time to come out and accept who I am. I really enjoyed your pride photos, and to echo another comment, it is nice to see that not everyone had that “perfect body.”

    1. mcpersonalspace54:
      I’m a mix of introvert and extrovert and the balance has changed over my lifetime (back and forth and back again). But I never overcame that lonely feeling in a room or street full of people. Clearly, I’m not the only one. We should have a party of our own. At the parade, I saw many more “normal” bodies than “perfect” ones. That was refreshing.

      1. mcpersonalspace54:
        My first Pride event, I got teary eyed. And when PFLAG appeared, it was all over for me. I wanted to be an unknown bystander, so that time it worked.

  10. I like the guys in the white shorts and suspenders. That’s more my speed. But Mr. Mesh Top is pretty hot!

    I know what you mean about feeling somewhat separate from the outrageousness of it all. I always treat it like going to a show. I’m not a performer, but I’m an audience member, and I certainly belong in that sense. (And thank goodness there are people who love to perform!)

    1. Steve:
      There was something PeeWeeHerman-like about those two guys in suspenders. My problem isn’t the outrageousness of it all. It’s simply a feeling of separateness in general in group events like this. And, yes, thank goodness there are people who love to perform.

  11. I was attending the Philadelphia gay pride festivities myself this weekend! I often wondered what a gay pride festival in your neck of the woods would look like. I figured it would be very colorful with lots of plumes and feathers and hot boys. Looks like it was a wonderful Festival

    1. Mistress Borghese:
      I wonder what the gay pride festivals are like in the bigger cities in Spain, like Madrid and Barcelona. Maybe one day.

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