Yumbo, Playa del Inglés, Gran Canaria, December 1, 2023 – On Friday evening, December 1, La Plaza De La Diversidad GLAY+ Maspalomas, 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 7:00 PM, with the participation of Amigos Contra El SIDA, Aula Darío Jaén, and Checkpoint Canarias, drew significant attendance, including local government representatives and community leaders.

 


Canary Islands Member of Parliament, Elena Mañnez, was in attendance alongside various socialist politicians and 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 local government councilors.

José Antonio Godoy, of PSOE and representing Aula Darío Jaén, began the ceremonial remembrance with a small gathering under the rainbow flag by 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, organized in collaboration with Buddies Bar and Cheyenne, Blue Havana, Copacobana, Olive, Mana264, Bar Meicker and 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.

Founders of the iconic Maspalomas PRIDE Gran Canaria in 2002, GLAY once again demonstrated its commitment to positive community initiatives. This year’s World AIDS Day event was a testament to the ongoing efforts of the newly elected GLAY committee of community representatives, event organizers, and communication experts.

A 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 the event sponsor, Cheyenne. The main show, presented by journalist and Vice President of GLAY+, Edward Timon, headlined outstanding performances by 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 people of all ages up and dancing by the end of the event.

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

GLAY Checkpoint British Vice Consul Jackie 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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