An ambitious Cultural Congress Against Homophobia is set to unfold May 17-21 in the border city of Tijuana, Mexico, a metropolis of about 1.6 million people.
Sponsored by the Tijuana LGBTI Cultural Community, or COCUT, the congress includes artistic, literary, entertainment, educational, film, theater and HIV-related events in the city's historic downtown -- on Revolution Avenue, in Plaza Santa Cecilia and Teniente Guerrero Park, and at the Palace of Culture on Second Street.
"The realization of this great event arises as a need to celebrate diversity and, at the same time, to sensitize the citizenry by demonstrating the human qualities and values of the LGBTI community, which in this city is composed of professionals, teachers, artists, creative people and workers in different industries who demonstrate through their ability, ingenuity and people skills their desire to become an integral part of society," COCUT said.
The congress will kick off with a "mega caravan" that will depart Teniente Guerrero Park on May 17 at 4 p.m. and "cross the expanse of the urban area from east to west." The park is between Third and Fourth streets and avenues F (5 de Mayo) and G (González Ortega). The procession will return to the park for an evening gathering and fiesta.
On May 18 and 19, starting at noon, there will be films, lectures, art exhibits and other activities at the Municipal Institute of Art and Culture (IMAC) on Second Street downtown, just west of Constitution Avenue (which is one block west of Revolution Avenue).
The congress' lecture series will address topics such as bisexuality, gay identity on the border, male sex workers, violence in same-sex couples, activism, and LGBTI legal advances in the state of Baja California.
On May 20 starting at noon, there will be outdoor music, theater and dance on Revolution Avenue, along with a drag show and a queen contest. On May 21, Revolution will feature live music and DJ stages and, according to one report, "a big surprise artist."
COCUT said the week's events are "a magnificent chance to enjoy, learn, make new friends, be with family, contribute to making Tijuana more united and spend moments of camaraderie among equals."