Residents of Mexico City are now officially free to be however they are and love whomever they want.
That’s because Mexico City is being officially declared an “LGBTQ friendly city.” The announcement was made via Twitter by Mexico City Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera, who said there will be a series of events and festivities this week to celebrate the city’s new status.
The festivities began this weekend with the city’s Gay and Lesbian cultural pavilion, which hosted concerts, workshops and activities to teach visitors about pressing issues facing the local LGBTQ community.
Other monuments throughout Mexico City are expected to be illuminated with rainbow colors all week.
Public institutions throughout the city, including the subway, have pledged to promote a campaign of “sensibilization” to fight discrimination.
The campaign is part of a greater effort to promote gay tourism and combat Latin American machismo.
The LGBTQ community is not the only group that faces discrimination in Mexico City; women, indigenous communities, dark-skinned individuals, and the poor are all common targets of prejudice. But, younger generations of Chilangos are becoming accustomed to epic shifts in public policy and perception.
In many ways, Mexico is leading the charge on some social justice issues. Mexico’s Supreme Court legalized same sex marriage before the United States did. And even in small towns where machismo is still prevalent, local gender fluidity phenomenons have started to counter traditional views on sex and gender.
In 2012, a transgender candidate competed for a seat in the local congress of the state of Hidalgo, and earlier this year another transgender candidate ran for head of the Cuauhtemoc district in Mexico City. Although neither candidate won, their campaigns were important steps towards making LGBTQ community issues visible to the larger population.