It was the best of times and it was the worst of times; the age of wisdom and also of madness; the age of belief and disbelief; the age of light and of darkness; the spring of hope and the winter of despair. We owned everything, but we had nothing.

(Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities)

Of course, having a gay pride parade is a step forward. Of course, I respect those who pour so much effort into organizing them. Of course, all those years ago, when we had to pick up our friends’ bodies in garbage bags, dirty, defecated and untended, from neighboring hospitals during the first years of the AIDS epidemic, we would never have thought that we could one day be marching with pride in our streets.

Of course, when my neighbor took his own life after his parents sent him to become a "man" in a Military Academy in the 1950s, a parade might have made him reconsider. Of course, there are many more who could have reconsidered.

Of course, in my case, if there had been a group to support me, I would not have been forced to receive testosterone treatments at the age of 10, thus leaving me bald and with medical complications for life. Of course, if I had met other gays in a parade, I could have convinced myself not to sleep with a prostitute to ¨get rid of the faggot¨ in me. I was simply lucky my parents didn’t consider a lobotomy. Of course, if these people had organized a parade in the 50s and 60s, thousands of gays or lesbians or transvestites wouldn’t have gone into exile, where many still live, never having returned.

Of course, if we could have united in the streets, many of our "single men" might not have been killed by homophobes, had their genitals cut off, or as in the case of my brothers-in-law, suffered 25 stab wounds.

Of course, through demonstrations of pride, thousands of lives could have been saved, thousands might not have had to marry the opposite sex just to save their families’ good name, without a homosexual to be ashamed of, ruining their otherwise perfect lives.

Of course, it has been a hard earned right to march.

Of course, we need to consider whether a place like San Jose, Costa Rica or Quito, Ecuador, should imitate the styles of New York, Chicago, or Amsterdam. Could imitating American or European parades result in even more rejection?

Of course, each march is better than the previous one. Each year, they involve greater numbers. Each year the floats are more beautiful: we have hundreds of boys in thongs, others butt naked, sadomasochist shows, and no shortage of youths with big silicone tits or men from the gym showing off their testosterone filled pecs. We’re happy. We kiss in the streets and those that embolden themselves with Crystal Meth, might just end up having oral sex.

Of course, these are also the worst marches because the press only cares to showcase sensationalism, through photos of what seems bizarre, potentially scary, or gross. What seems to be a replica of Sodom and Gomorrah. Of course, these marches also strengthen religious and conservative reaction, making it harder to achieve our rights.

Of course, they are the best marches; Of course, they are the worst.

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