Wednesday, August 17

The Pride of Madrid forgets childhood: “Families are invisible”

“Avoid attending with small children or pets.” It is one of the tips that MADO (Madrid Orgullo) collects in its recommendations section health and safety to attend the state demonstration on Saturday, July 9. “The agglomeration of people can scare them,” they argue.

Pride 2022 Festival Program in Madrid: dates, parade, concerts and activities

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Leaving childhood out of a celebration of equality, visibility and diversity, equating them with animals, is a decision that many families and members of the group do not understand. This is the case of Pedro Fuentes, secretary of the LGTBIQ+ Galehi family association. “I can understand that it is a security problem, but if that is the case, the approach is bad: if the organizers, in essence activism, are not capable of creating a safe space where families can go and where children can go, they are doing something bad,” he says.

Fuentes, the father of a 12-year-old boy, asks himself a question that invites us to rethink this whole issue: “If there is no safe space in Spain for minors from LGTBIQ+ families during the Pride demonstration itself, how is there going to be? in schools, in parks or in your day to day?

This doctor by profession notices small details that speak for themselves about this oversight: “We have tried that from the Spanish Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Transsexuals and Bisexuals (FELGTB) [una de las principales instituciones responsables del Orgullo] Advance the position of the Galehi families in the march, because the further back you go, the longer it takes to reach the end of the route. We believe that it would be convenient for the children to finish soon, also that way you take away a while from this July sun”. Finally it has not been possible, they have been informed that “everything was already closed”.

But the problem goes beyond the demonstration. Fuentes regrets the absence of actions aimed at children, pre-adolescents and adolescents in the entire Pride program in Madrid: “There is no type of activity, neither playful nor less playful [es decir, más enfocadas a pedagogía o concienciación]”. In his opinion, the children of LGTBIQ+ families should be considered part of the group regardless of their orientation or gender identity, so this lack of visibility makes no sense. “It is important that these children are in public space, that they can enjoy it and feel safe,” he adds.

The example of other cities (and of Madrid itself)

The panorama of the capital is discouraging if we compare it with other cities. In the Pride of Barcelona, ​​under the title Pride Kids, activities especially focused on children and families (painting workshops, inflatables or parades) were held on June 24 and 25. On the 26th of the same month, the Tibidabo amusement park hosted a special program and reduced the price of its ticket.

It is important that children from LGTBIQ+ families are in public spaces, that they can enjoy it and feel safe

The same has happened in smaller towns, such as Cádiz. The Pride of the Andalusian municipality began on June 25 with activities aimed at children between 5 and 14 years old proposed by Aghois (Association LGTBIQ + Cadiz): crafts, dance, music and storytelling. “We consider it essential to target the little ones because they are the future and must be educated in equality and tolerance”, declared when presenting this program the president of Aghois, Jaime Zamora.

If we stay in Madrid, these types of events usually have a reserved place at most parties. And if we go back in time, we see that there has also been a setback in this regard in Pride. In 2017, within the mammoth World Pride, the organization did provide spaces and events for families. The World Pride Park, which was installed in Madrid Río, was the venue for Chueca Kids (now defunct initiative that started in 2015). For two days, from the morning until late in the afternoon, workshops or concerts were held in an enclave where a games area was also established. Of course, some voices criticized that the link with the context of the group was conspicuous by its absence.

The power to make visible and normalize

“I think my son has changed more mentalities over the 9 years he has been in school than the best rally by the best activist can change. His classmates know diversity and see it, it is a constant learning that they have had by sharing things with him since they were 3 years old. Although later the education they receive at home or through social networks is decisive, that remains there”. That is how forceful Fuentes is to illustrate the importance of making visible and normalizing different family models, something to which he is convinced that he would contribute a program dedicated to the youngest ages within the framework of Pride.

Galehi’s secretary misses, in addition to spaces for children and families, more analysis and awareness on this matter: “There is not a single talk about how we live in our environments or about the need for textbooks reflect models that go beyond the father-mother, because this does not fit the family diversity that there is now in schools [aquí va más allá del colectivo y hace referencia a progenitores divorciados con nuevas parejas o familias monoparentales]”. He definitely believes that “families are invisible” within this celebration.

Amendment proposal for future editions

The family area was the last to join the FELGTB. For a few months, it has been in the hands of Galehi herself “temporarily”, according to Fuentes. For this reason, he also intones mea culpa: “I recognize that we have not made proposals in this regard in the short time that we have been involved, although it is also true that we believed that work was being done on it. When our vice president [Jesús Santos] When the family area took over, everything was practically closed and there was not much room for maneuver.”

That is why the Galehi board of directors is clear that, as soon as this MADO is over, we must think about the next one with the child and family perspective in mind. “We are also going to go to maximum demands”, he points out, since “if you educate in diversity, then it is very difficult to cut that chain. Children must be given their leading role, not taken away, because they are the ones who are going to change tomorrow’s society”.