Gay Pride, Spanish Style

Rumor has it Madrid’s gay pride tops all others. Thus, in an effort to uncover the truth, Queerty contributor Jimmy Im traveled to the Spanish city for a full investigation.

Check out the blow-by-blow, after the jump…

Day One: Getting To Know You…
I’m not sure there’s anything quite as gay as gay pride in Madrid. It’s not just a select celebration of gayness, but a city wide explosion of Madrillenos’ love of a hardy party. What could be better? Oh, right, all those gorgeous Spaniards, whose charm knows no bounds. And I sure got to know more than a few during my excursion last week.

Because Spain has a reputation for living “la vida loca” by night, my friend Matt Bell paced ourselves with some light sightseeing before the night’s festivities.

The chic Me hotel (sporting one of the best views of the city from the trendy rooftop) sheltered our gay asses before we set out for old city tours. This jet setter’s paradise, transformed from a 19th century building, is visited frequently by celebs like Posh Spice and George Clooney, who claims it is his favorite place in Madrid. Call it a hunch, but I have a feeling he feels right at home among the modelesque “straight” staff we got to know.

While we meant to see the city’s intricate architecture and awe-worthy monuments, Bell and I couldn’t control our carnal urges and soon found ourselves cruising among the masses at Madrid’s hot spots, like major shopping street Gran Via, “gayborhood” Chueca and historic Plaza de Santa Ana. But, we did manage to take in the Plaza Major, Madrid’s central plaza, which Philip II of Spain had constructed back in 1581 and continues to be one of the city’s most popular sites. It’s also home to the La Latina neighborhood, where the best tapas can be had, especially at San Loco, the bar owned by Javier Bardem’s brother.

Taking a cue from the Madrillenos, we followed the city’s nightlife rule of thumb – dinner at 10 pm; bars at 1 pm; discos at 3 am – and wine-and-dined at the neck-craning, sexy Philip-Starke-designed Ramses. The delicious food – and staff – got us more than pumped for our first night out. Viva Chueca!

Needless to say, the scene at the outdoor fiesta was a little chaotic. Alright, a lot. The plaza and adjoining streets were simply flooded with caliente boys, mostly locals, but a healthy portion of visitors flew down early for the notorious festivities. We made some local friends who couldn’t comprehend our “American” accents, but outdoor bars made it easier to get our drink on, and by 2 am, the language barrier seemed to be less problematic. Despite our promising drunken flirtations with eager muchachos, we called it an early night to save face for the rest of the week.

We may be playing among the Spaniards, but we had nowhere near their stamina!

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  • tallskin

    Yeah, I was there, it was three days of wild and enjoyable debauched fun! What makes the difference for me, coming from London, are the endless blue skies and the heat, the heat, the heat, the heat

    Oh, did I mention the endless blue skies and the heat?

    And the beautiful men – and the sex.

    Oh, and the fab party atmosphere and the fact that it is right in the heart of madrid, amidst all the restaurants and bars and clubs. And the shopping areas: I spent so much money on clothes!


    Green with envy of both you and Tallskin. (;
    Spaniards always excel at everything they do. So its no wonder that the Madrid Pride is the best in the World.
    I so will go there next year one way or another.
    I promise that to myself.

  • l

    Euro 2008, Rafael Nadal, and now this. The men of Spain have got a major PR blitz going on.

  • MWShmucks

    What a fantastic couple of weeks Spain is having. Would’ve been awesome to have been there.

  • Michael J

    This year’s Madrid Pride sounds like the Madrid Pride I had the pleasure of experiencing in 2000. The numbers and enthusiasm of everyone, and the number of city streets closed to auto traffic, made it the most lively celebration I’ve ever been to. NYC’s Pride festivities seem like an afternoon tea party by comparison.

  • mark

    DAMN, to be young, dumb, and hung in Madrid

    nevermind me, just an envious queer elder

  • CitizenGeek

    Spain is one of only one of a handful of countries in the whole world where gays and straights are totally equal. Gay Spaniards have every reason to celebrate!

  • Jan

    FYI, it’s “madrileños”. And yes, the “orgullo” was spectacular, as always. Besos desde Madrid

Comments are closed.