Fourth of July is my favorite holiday. It is simple, you relax and enjoy time with all of your family and friends. Usually there is a parade, pool party, barbecue, and of course fireworks, but none of these things are what makes the Fourth great. Instead, for me it boils down to the celebration of our relationships, with our family members, our friends, and our community. Everyone comes together in the context of communal celebration of being a member of our nation, sharing food and good times. A recipe for a great day!
Andrew and I wanted to celebrate this wonderful holiday and thought if we went into the center of town we would be able to find some sort of “American” festivity. There was plenty of entertainment as we stepped off the bus at Gran Vía, but none of it was in honor of the USA’s independence.
Instead, it was the first night celebration of Pride Week in Chueca. People packed the streets wandering under the small rainbow flags that marked the district. When we reached the central plaza we learned we had just missed a free concert as we watched the performers exit the stage. We grabbed a large sangria from one of the street vendors and then wandered around the streets soaking up the energy and vibe throughout the neighborhood.
It was the first of three nights that we spent in Chueca that weekend, each night with a different experience and different feeling. It is nice to see this demonstration of openness and love, something that all human beings deserve. Especially since during my stay in 2009 I saw many different graffiti tags along the walls that were against such relationships. It is amazing how much the world can change in 3 years. I cannot wait for the day when all people are truly free to love who they want!