A Tale of Two Pride Marches

In the 1980s, Mexico’s Gay Rights Movement Was Fractured. Its Legacy Offers Lessons for Today

On June 25, 1983, two distinct marches set out from Mexico City’s Monumento a Los Niños Héroes. One was a traditional march, with a serious tone in line with the established patterns for Mexican leftist marches. The other included not only queer Mexicans but also sex workers and punk-like chavos banda, who laughed, danced, and wreaked fun havoc—or, in Mexican parlance, engaged in desmadre. This second march also included a stop at the U.S. Embassy to burn Ronald Reagan in effigy to protest U.S. interventions in Central America.

The two contingents …