Gay Pride 2014: Pride & demonstration

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Gay Pride 2014: Pride & demonstration
©Orgullo Gay Madrid
Manifestación del Orgullo Gay

Although it's a huge travelling street party and celebration, the Gay Pride parade is also a demonstration for the rights of the LGBT community, and its strength is reflected in its motto this year: 'We march for those who cannot.' As many as 1.2 million naked bodies, or those barely covered with wild costumes will participate in the event this year. The parade starts at 6pm at the Atocha station transport interchange and heads up the Paseo del Prado to Plaza de Colón.

The best bit are the more than 20 parade floats, a symbol of distinction of the demonstration, which puts a festive touch on things after the social organisations have passed by. Nude bodies disguised as angels, demons, Smurfs or whatever you can think of dance to classics on the local scene like Alaska as well as modern house songs, pop or even reggaeton. Drag queens do their best to outshine everyone else with their dance moves, colourful manes and miles-long lashes. And they're only too happy to pose for the camera.

Freedom and good vibes reign here, so don't hold back if you fancy trading your workaday grey suit for a fitted red bustier. Go to any costume store to find a gorgeous feather boa in your favourite colour, or if you're a bit shy, get some funky sunglasses to keep as a souvenir. And with the days heating up in Madrid, any kind of fun hat or fan can keep you cool and make your outfit work for you.

On a practical note, prepare yourself beforehand by bringing along some water to keep yourself hydrated, and just take it easy if you're one who gets a bit overwhelmed by crowds. Everyone's out to have fun and it's always a friendly atmosphere. You might want to leave the flip-flops at home, though, as even the friendliest in the crowd can take a wrong step now and again, especially when dancing the night away.

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