Throughout these years SOMOSGAY has organized a series of events that have positively contributed to different objectives, such as raising awareness, adding to the visibility of the LGBTI+ community, enhancing art, culture, creativity and expression, putting the body in each political action to move forward with hope towards a Paraguay with full rights for all.

 

Events such as the Besatón, the Parada del Orgullo (Pride Parade) and the Semana del Lazo Rojo (Red Ribbon Week) have permeated popular culture and are today a reference at a national level. These initiatives represent important manifestations that manage to promote messages, conversations and visibility around who we are as a collective and our rights. 

 

 


 

 

The Besatón Festival is the response of love and diversity, with kisses of affection and trans visibility, which grows  is renewed every year. An act of protest against exclusion; because the streets and public spaces are also ours, as they are for the entire citizenry. 

 

Every kiss is political. That is why we kiss; for a Paraguay where love wins over hate, conquering public places, humanizing them and filling them with love, in a revolution that starts from the visibility of affections, celebrating with art, spectacle and colors.

 

With the Besatón, Paraguay joins the international mobilization for the World Day against LGBTIphobia in more than 100 countries, with thousands of activists, organizations and millions of people organized for love and equality. 

 

During 9 consecutive editions it managed to win a place as the artistic festival of reference of the Paraguayan capital, due to the quantity of artists and people that agglomerate.

 

It should be noted that this initiative is set in a highly authoritarian, conservative and repressive context. The Italian philosopher Rocco Carbone together with the Argentine academic Joel Cuenca in the work "108: Genocidio. Homopolitics in Paraguay: Between Repression and the Affirmation of Rights" highlights Besatón as a fundamental Paraguayan LGBTI+ expression. 

 

Besatón is the humanizing act par excellence.  It claims something as simple as genuine: there are LGBTI+ people, couples and families.We will never come back to the closet and we will continue to move forward for our full rights.

 

 


 

 

 

 

Pride Day is the most important event of the LGBTI+ political movement. It commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots that gave rise to the movement known as "Pride" for the rights of LGBTI+ people around the world. In that context, we express who we are with pride, joy and love, filling the streets with colors.

It all began on June 28 1969, at the Stonewall Inn, a New York bar, where trans women, drag queens, sex workers and activists of Afro-Latino, African American and working-class descent sparked protests that led to the birth of the LGBTI+ political movement and the conquest of rights for diversity internationally.

 

In Paraguay we had “108 y un quemado” in 1959, as a consequence of the murder of radio presenter Bernardo Aranda in circumstances that had not yet been resolved. That is why we reaffirmed ourselves as 108. We are proud and we are more and more people marching, making ourselves visible and responding to the society of fear with our rainbow of diversity and hope. 

 

The Equality Parade is organized every year by SOMOSGAY in conjunction with Lesvos, within the framework of the International LGBTI+ Pride Day. Thus, Paraguay also answers: "in a society that educates us to shame, pride is a political response".

 

Nine editions of the Parada were promoted, always with massive attendance, shows by established and emerging artists of music, dance, theater and the presence of other allied collectives. 

 

In recent years, the event has expanded with the adhesion of fairs and spaces for recreation and care for children in the face of the high presence of families. In addition, diplomatic representatives from other countries have joined the marches, adding to La Parada, a mobilizing political action that will continue to strengthen more and more.

 

 


 

 

 

To break down stigmas around HIV and for our right to sex and pleasure, since 2013 we have uninterruptedly developed "Red Ribbon Week" in late November and early December. 

 

Thus, through different activities in various parts of the country and culminating in a great art festival, we offer free testing, condoms, water-based lubricants, informational materials, mass media interviews and talks, emphasizing prevention, care and wellness.

 

Over the years we have reached tens of thousands of people, with the support of the authorities and the Ministry of Public Health and Social Welfare, including the Palacio de López, headquarters of the country's Executive Branch. 

 

We contribute to a significant increase in the percentage of gay, bisexual and men who have sex with men (MSM) with access to prevention and testing programs.

 

In this context, we insist on a combined prevention strategy, with PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis), PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis), condoms, lubricants and testing twice a year. We also emphasize the importance of becoming undetectable: that those of us living with HIV achieve adherence to treatment to reach such low levels of the virus, until we are undetectable by measuring instruments. If we are undetectable, it is virtually impossible for us to transmit the virus, even if we have sex without a condom (bareback). 

The real obstacles to overcome are stigma, discrimination and myths; therefore, from the right to pleasure and sex, from pride and joy, we seek that more gay, bisexual and men who have sex with men (MSM) exercise our rights fully, starting with self-care.

 

HIV will soon cease to be a public health problem in Paraguay. That is the legacy we want to leave to future generations.