High heels run defies gravity, homophobia in Madrid

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07/05/2019

Dozens of men and a few women in stiletto heels raced through the center of the Spanish capital on Thursday, defying gravity, the heat and attempts by the far-right party Vox to curtail their Gay Pride celebrations this year. The race in Chueca, a gay-friendly neighborhood in central Madrid, draws competitors from abroad and is one of the most eagerly awaited parts of the annual festival of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. The race attracts the young and old, the athletic and the portly. Reaching the finish line is no easy task: rules state that heels must be at least 10 cm (4 inches) high and the shoes are measured before the race. Madrid Pride, one of the world’s largest LGBT celebrations, will culminate in a parade in the city center on Saturday. The ultra-conservative Vox, a political newcomer that won about 10% of the vote in April’s national election and recently enabled the center-right to take over the Madrid city hall, has increasingly attacked the festival and LGBT rights in Spain.

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