Madrid, a Beacon of Tolerance and Diversity

  • Calles de Madrid. Chueca. LGTBI
    callesdemadridchueca.jpg

You live Madrid, but more than anything you feel it. It's always waiting with open arms; welcoming, accepting and integrating people from other places. In terms of protecting LGTBIQA+ rights and equality, Spain boasts some of the most progressive legislation in the world. Same-sex marriage has been a reality since 2005. All of this is strongly in evidence in the capital, which is a benchmark for many countries where full equality has yet to be achieved.

Chueca is much more than a neighbourhood – it's held up as an example by the LGTBIQA+ movement the world over. Its very name evokes the principles of freedom, respect and tolerance. This is hardly surprising as it was the point of origin of what has become an unstoppable shift towards visibility, a way of life based on respect.

A few decades ago a number of bars, restaurants and multiple businesses specialising in the LGTBIQA+ market, such as bookshops and fashion boutiques, began to open in the neighbourhood. Some of these are now iconic establishments: the Berkana bookshop, among others. Their presence initially surprised the neighbourhood’s lifelong residents, who have been privileged witnesses of its transformation into a hub of tolerance and modernity; a place where people can live a life free of prejudice or exclusion.

The neighbourhood is one of Madrid’s most cosmopolitan and vibrant areas. Its main nerve centre is Plaza de Chueca, and another hotspot is Plaza de Pedro Zerolo, which was renamed in 2015 in honour of one of the activists who worked the hardest to protect the rights of the LGTBIQA+ community in Spain. The neighbourhood is teeming with avant-garde art galleries, the trendiest shops around, restaurants serving international cuisine and lively outdoor bars and cafés that line its streets at every turn. It bustles with life both during the day and after the sun goes down, and boasts some of the most entertaining nightlife in town.

This neighbourhood and all of Madrid reach the peak of fun and tolerance in summer, when one of the most eagerly awaited festivals is celebrated: LGTBIQA+ Pride Week.

The energy and vitality of the surrounding neighbourhoods combine with that of Chueca to offer visitors a broad and varied range of options that's difficult to match. Calle Fuencarral, for example, is indisputably Madrid's main shopping thoroughfare, Malasaña is the heart of the city’s indie scene and home to up-and-coming creative artists, and Salesas has a spirit that lies somewhere between chic and bohemian.

It should be noted that the city of Madrid is very committed to sport and equal opportunities. It is the headquarters of Sport and Diversity, a non-profit organisation that was created in 2017 and is made up of the five LGTBI sports clubs in the region: Madrid Titanes (Rugby), GMadrid Sports (Mutideportivo), Halegatos (Swimming and Jumping), Madpoint (Tennis) and Madminton (Badminton). Groups that represent more than 800 sportsmen and women in Madrid.

At the same time, it hosts the Sport and Diversity Congress, an annual meeting that gives voice to and puts into code the past, the present and, also, what the future of the world of sport should look like. As part of the celebrations of the LGTBI Madrid Pride Festivities, the Pride in Diversity Race is celebrated, a non-competitive race suitable for all audiences.

LAVAPIÉS AND LA LATINA

These are two adjacent, multicultural neighbourhoods. Describing them with the word “fusion” would be an understatement; it’s commonplace to see lifelong residents living side by side with their new Latin, African and Asian neighbours.  The two neighbourhoods are among the city’s oldest, and the rich ethnic diversity of their streets has made them an example of integration without compromising their authentic and traditional Madrid character.

Many new LGTBIQA+ -friendly establishments have chosen to set up shop in La Latina, the most popular neighbourhood for a fun Sunday out in Madrid. Lavapiés is also home to a thriving alternative gay and lesbian scene, which goes to show just how broad the city’s range of tolerant spaces is.

Lavapiés also hosts an interesting alternative gay and lesbian scene, demonstrating the wide range of tolerance spaces in the city. And as far as multicultural integration is concerned, the nights of Ramadan always take place in this neighbourhood.

 

DON’T MISS

A new edition of the Madrid International Lesbian, Gay and Transsexual Film Festival (October-November 2021).

Each year, around two million people take part in one of the most famous LGBTIQA+ festivals worldwide.

  • Fancy freely enjoying yourself in a city that embraces the LGTBIQA+ community? Then Madrid is your destination!

    LGTBIQA+ Madrid
  • Manifestación. MADO 2018. Fiestas del Orgullo. Madrid.
  • Legendary venues sit cheek by jowl with nightclubs in this major LGTBIQA+ hotspot that is always open to fun and respect.

    Nightlife: Chueca
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  • 40 years of Gay Pride in Madrid

    Vídeo conmemorativo 40 años Orgullo LGTBI en Madrid

    Watch this heart-warming video commemorating four decades of fighting for what we believe in. Because whoever you love, Madrid loves you.

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