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Dusty O checks out what – and who – is going down at Sitgesʼ first gay Pride!

I have been visiting Sitges (near Barcelona) for 20 years now. I love the place and even considered relocating and opening my own bar there a couple of years back. It’s still an option I am toying with especially after having enjoyed their first ‘Gay Pride’ festival this year.

The festival and parade took place over three of the warmest days of the season and attracted tens of thousands of LGBT folk from all over Spain and the world. Sitges is renowned for the laid back and welcoming attitude it has towards us friends of Dorothy, and these three days of fun were no exception.

What struck me was the exuberance of the participants. Last year when I put on a ‘Trannyshack’ float for our own London Pride I was perturbed at the amount of rules and regulations we had to abide by. No booze on the floats, no throwing flyers off the floats, no water cannons on the floats, no this, no that, etc… and the mere cost of the float itself stopped me from having one again this year. Not so in Spain! The parade was like something you would expect in Rio. Queens hanging off floats dancing, drinking and having fun and even the smallest of bars were represented, unlike our own London Pride where only the folks with big bucks can afford to participate these days.

Sitges first gay pride Sitges first gay pride

The effort the bars and organisations went to was inspiring. No boring old lorries with a few queens blowing whistles for them! No sireee, it was feathers and sequins and dragons and sexy leather clad boys and girls of every variety. Music blasted and the crowd went wild as the parade toured the town. Spaniards really know how to have fun! The town had been taken over by gay folk and their friends and the atmosphere was electric and full of love. Every bar and club was at capacity and every shop and hotel flew the rainbow flag in solidarity. It really did exude a tremendous feeling of love and community but also one of excitement and joyousness.

The drag queens were out in abundance and I also spotted many London faces, such as Mama Yvette and Birmingham’s Queen Bee the fantastic Twiggy Sans drag and looking tanned, muscular and fit. My own Bollywood-Marilyn look seemed to go down a storm with the natives and I had many film star moments over the course of the three days, as well as several nice job opportunities which I will be availing myself of in the future. Particularly the one made by Lady Diamond, Sitges’ queen of the scene whose bar rocked.

Another of my favourite venues was the ever popular ‘Piano Bar’ whose owner Steve wrote and produced the Pride Anthem, performed by our very own Angie Brown. I also loved the live sex shows at  ‘Prinz Bar’. In fact, so much I went back every night of the week! Sitges would not be Sitges if I didn’t mention the late night beach antics during Pride. It was more like an open air Spanish version of The HustlaBall! I lowered my eyes, of course, as I am so easily shocked… then my drawers!

The great thing about this festival was that it was an evening and nighttime affair which gave us all beach time during the day. The massive beaches that encircle Sitges gave everyone plenty of space and the crystal blue sea was a joy to cool down in.

All-in-all Sitges’ first pride was one of my personal highlights of the year and to say I enjoyed it is an understatement. I have already booked my hotel for next year and I suggest you do the same. It was FAN-FLUCKING-TASTIC!

Sitges first gay pride


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