Gay Pride was the inspiration for the San Miguel Gang Pride movement. Gang members began to identify with the intent of Gay Pride that joining a Gang is not something you can alter and that diversity is a gift. At the very beginning Gang Members used to feel shame to be in a gang and could often hear the Snickers in the Jardin when they walked by. Many stopped coming to the Jardin because the sound of snickers was often deafening. Their self esteem was being eroded. Some gang members even took off their rugs and tablecloths and tried to pass as “Normal” in San Miguel. The Gang movement in San Miguel was not moving forward.
The flashpoint (the Stonewall moment) for Gang Pride was the Derugging incident of February 12, 2008 in the Jardin. That day, a group of Gangophobes, surrounded Melanie Jones, derugged her and threw her rug into the Ficus Trees. That propelled Gang members to take action against Gangophobia and show their Pride. And the easiest way to do that was to pose for Artistes in the Jardin for no charge and show how much Pride they felt in being a member of a Gang.
Today these Artistes were given the rare honour of having two Gangs compete. The Household Item Wearing Gang and the Parasol Gang were both out in the Jardin showing their pride and the Artistes fingers simply flew with these lovely Life Models that were free. Word will no doubt spread quickly among the Artiste Community about these new interesting subjects to draw, paint and sculpt for free. And they are grateful no nudity is involved.