GLAY+ Maspalomas World AIDS Day Commemoration at La Plaza De La Diversidad a Resounding Success
Published: 27.02.2024
by: Edward Timon

On Friday evening, December 1 – The Yumbo Main Plaza De La Diversidad, on the south of Gran Canaria, lit up with solidarity and community spirit as the GLAY+ Maspalomas association (Gays and Lesbians Associated of Yumbo, Maspalomas) led an emotional commemoration of World AIDS Day. The event, which began at 7PM, included the participation of Amigos Contra El SIDA, Aula Darío Jaén, and Checkpoint Canarias, and drew significant attendance, including local government representatives and community leaders.

Yumbo Square comes together on World AIDS Day 2023
Yumbo Square comes together on World AIDS Day 2023

Representing the Ayuntamiento de San Bartolomé de Tirajana town hall were Mayor Marco Aurelio Pérez; Councilor for Culture, Equality, Youth, and Education, Elena Álamo Vega; Councilor for Tourism and Events, Yilenia Vega Macías; Councilor for Security, José Carlos Álamo Ojeda; and Councilor for Sports, Ramón Suárez Ojeda, along with many more local government councilors and community leaders.

José Antonio Godoy, of PSOE and the Aula Darío Jaén, began the ceremonial remembrance with a small gathering under the rainbow flag at the memorial to fellow activist, Darío Jaén Rivero, who helped found ACES and GLAY+, and after whom the square is named Yumbo Plaza de La Diversidad Darío Jaén.

The evening was filled with diverse entertainment, organised in collaboration with Buddies Bar, Bar Meicker and Cheyenne, Blue Havana, Copacobana, Olive, Mana264, along with several partners of the Yumbo Plaza, symbolizing the joint effort of GLAY+ and its allies to raise awareness and funds for ACES (Amigos Contra El SIDA), in the fight against AIDS.  There is much more to be done to bring the Yumbo community together, but this was a fantastic show of support.

The founders of the iconic Maspalomas PRIDE Gran Canaria in 2002, GLAY+, once again demonstrated their commitment to positive community initiatives. This year’s World AIDS Day was a testament to the ongoing efforts of the newly elected GLAY+ committee of activists, community representatives, event organizers, and communications professionals.

The large crowd gathered at the Yumbo Plaza for the Drag Family Photo, which featured participation from the famous show bars Sparkles and Ricky’s, as well as several renowned drag artists brought together by event sponsor, Cheyenne, were entertained with a main show, presented by journalist and Vice President of GLAY+, Edward Timon, and headlined the outstanding performances of LEGENDS Gran Canaria, Liza and Kevin Byrne, known for their renditions of the Great American Songbook and stylized performances as Liza Minnelli, Bette Midler, and a cast of other recognizable talents.

The Yumbo Square was full all night, with visitors and residents of all ages, who were up and dancing by the end of the event.

Checkpoint Canarias presented a large cheque for 1,500 euros to ACES and raised much more throughout the night, while ACES sold candles and ribbons, in exchange for donations, in their Garden of Remembrance, to be placed around the permanently located red ribbon mosaic.

The British Vice Consul in Las Palmas, Jackie Stevenson, met with the Vice President and committee of GLAY+ Maspalomas, and the president of Checkpoint Canarias, Jim Phillips, to discuss the importance of sexual health and providing information to the visiting LGBT community during significant events like PRIDE.

The event not only commemorated World AIDS Day but also showcased GLAY’s continuous efforts to promote inclusivity, safety, and diversity among the hundreds of thousands of visitors to Yumbo and Maspalomas Costa Canaria each year. Supported by some of the most established businesses serving the LGBTQIA+ community in the south of Gran Canaria, GLAY continues to effectively advocate for its community.

Reflecting on GLAY+’s two-decade journey fostering dialogue, collaboration, and cooperation, this event underscored the invaluable contribution of the LGBTQIA+ community to the cultural and social tapestry of Gran Canaria.

GLAY+ expresses its deep gratitude to all participants and collaborators who contributed to making this evening a memorable moment. The organization reaffirms its dedication to representing the needs and values of the LGBTQIA+ community and anticipates further collaboration with local authorities and stakeholders.

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