The power of consumer spending and tourism on the progression of human rights and equality for all.
Pride today is a thing of joy – a celebration filled with bright rainbows, fabulous parades, stylish parties, fun cocktails, and revelry flavored with the zest of defiance. Because it’s a hard-won thing, the freedom to love.
Here in the U.S., some (but probably not enough) of us know about the Stonewall Riots, a six-day clash-filled protest that began June 28, 1969 when the Stonewall Inn of New York City was raided. During this time, the gathering of LGBTQ+ at establishments serving alcohol was considered “disorderly” and a right only recently won. However, same-sex relations – even as mild as hand-holding or dancing – were illegal in New York City. The raid by police and the Public Morals Squad on this Mafia-owned bar was the final straw for patrons and nearby residents, who refused to disband as the crowd resisting police authority reached hundreds. It is because of this historic event that we traditionally celebrate Pride in June each year.
But the beginning of the concerted fight for unity and equality was far from over. This was a foreshadowing for a similar event that took place only a few years later, in a former fishing village-cum-resort town in Spain called Torremolinos.
Home of the first five-star hotel in Spain – and AluaSoul Costa Malaga, part of Inclusive Collection, which is also part of Hyatt Hotels & Resorts – this stylish destination rose quickly to become a glitzy queer hub. La Sirena, Bar Tabarin, The Blue Note, and still-operational lesbian club Pourquoi Pas were popular hot spots.
But tourism dollars aside, in 1971, the government started “cracking down” on this lively scene, leading up to what is now called the Great Raid, which occurred June 24 of that year. During this event, hundreds of people, including tourists, were arrested and by the 1990s, the party was all but gone … along with the tourism, glamour, and prestige that came with it.
With the error of their ways so blatantly on display, modern thinking began to move back into the empty streets of the Pasaje Begoña neighborhood. A 10-million Euro investment was made to restore the area’s central squares, stations, and business centers and the work proved to be well worth it.
Today, it’s once again a hotbed for queer culture, with bars, clubs, and businesses catering to this population, plus residents who represent the LGBTQ+ community as well. Not only is there a banner Pride festival that attracts roughly 30,000 folks to the city via exhibitions, films, concerts, and a parade, there are as many as nine other annual similarly-themed festivals that take place in this town in Spain’s Costa del Sol. For instance, it’s not too late yet to book your stay at AluaSoul Costa Malaga for Mad.Bear Beach, the annual summer bear week; Matrix Sun Festival’s party week; or the party-driven Infinity Festival.
Of course, there’s plenty to take part in year-round. Go to La Nogalera for a wide range of clubs and bars, chill all day at beach clubs like Eden and El Gato, and get a picture in front of each of the four murals that honor freedom and equality in the city.
For any travelers hopping on a cruise from the popular port of Malaga or disembarking there, AluaSoul Costa Malaga is a splendid stay option for LGBTQ+ and straight travelers, and visiting this historic, revitalized neighborhood a wonderful way to show support to universal Pride … and love for all.
Just as Costa del Sol in Spain is a destination for all year, so is Pride. ALG Vacations® is proud to be diverse and inclusive, and to support equality and visibility for our LGBTQ+ friends, family, employees, and customers. Find queer-geared content right here on TravelBlogue, from Pride festivals around the world, Hotels to Take Pride In, Pride on the Beach both in the U.S. and abroad, and suggestions for vacations for LGBTQ+ families.