I have always believed people have a right to be whoever/whatever they want to be as long as they’re not hurting anyone. I have nothing against people that have different beliefs, opinions, mentalities, etc. as long as they also respect others.

But sometiemes people want to impose their own believes in others and they also like to point fingers and say, “You’re wrong and I’m right”? Now I, personally, have a problem with this.

This weekend, Lima had its eleventh Gay Pride parade, which began in Campo de Marte and ended at Plaza San Martín (Campo de Marte is a big and culturally important park and Plaza, San Martín is a square in central Lima, for those of you that are not very familiar with the city).

I’d gone to central Lima to run some errands and, you guessed right, take some pictures when, there in the distance, a rainbow flag was slowly waving. I wasn’t expecting a lot from this parade, at least I wasn’t expecting it to be anywhere near as good as the one in London, and people seemed to be going about their daily lives as though nothing were going on.

However, and much to my surprise, people started to gather on the side of the road as the flag, preceded by the police, started to get closer. Before I knew it, dozens of people were standing along the pavement and the sound of music and revelry was getting louder with each passing second.

What I had anticipated to be dull and boring turned out to be rather fabulous and extravagant. There were lots of people blowing whistles, dancing, playing drums, handing out rainbow flags, holding banners and shouting words of encouragement into a bullhorn. Cars exhuberantly adorned, drag queens, costumes, this was no small thing but something to be enjoyed.

As I said before, I believe we all have a right to express ourselves. Nonetheless, in this country where racism and sexism is very notorious, people can’t always express themselves without getting scorned, insulted, lectured or even worse, being told they are going to hell, as a middle-age lady at the parade kept saying out loud.

This lady felt it was her duty to tell everyone in the most disdainful way, even though she thought she was doing it in the most righteous and holiest of ways, to fear God and find love in Him as they were sinners who would one day burn for eternity.

Clearly, it was a battle of one against hundreds and she got several comments from those in the parade in return. A man standing next to me said to himself “están podridos”, again, in a very disdainful tone. If they are rotten, as he said, what is he doing standing there watching them go by? That lady and this man have a right to their opinion, but the man did not impose his opinion on anyone whereas the lady did, and in a not very nice way.

It says in Leviticus 20:13: “If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them.”

In a couple of previous chapters it says: “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination”. (Leviticus 18:22)

So if we take this literally, homosexuals should be put to death as they are an abomination. Ironically enough, it says in one of the many Psalms: “The LORD is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made.”

So I guess I can say God is good to homosexuals, too. If that is the case, why are homosexuals referred to as an abomination? And in Romans 14- 13: “Let us therefore no longer pass judgment on one another, but resolve instead never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of another.”

I guess this lady never read this verse in the Bible, as she was clearly judging.

Now, the Bible also says in 1 Corinthians 14:33-35: “For God is a God not of disorder but of peace. (As in all the churches of the saints, women should be silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be subordinate, as the law also says. If there is anything they desire to know, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church. ”

I have seen women speak in church. I wonder if they’ve read this verse.

If God is a God of love, and if He created what He created and if He knew things would turn out this way and if He allowed it, then I’m sure His love is for everyone. Some people should understand this first before trying to impose their opinions on others, but alas, that’s too much to ask.

A stage was set up at Plaza San Martín and there were drag shows, singers, etc. It seems to me that people in Lima are becoming more tolerant of homosexuality, but I also think most people here are still very conservative and bound to religion.

What is supposed to be an expression of opinion is still seen by lots as something to be frowned upon, which makes the whole thing, from my point of view, a circus. It will be many years before Peruvian society embraces homosexuality.

Junior Moya is a Peruvian citizen who has lived in London and Lima, where he now teaches English as a second language.