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The first Gayaldi at the almost 100 year old Euskal Etxea of New York is deemed a success


The New York Basque club held one of their funnest parties with the first edition of Gayaldi (photo Koitz)
The New York Basque club held one of their funnest parties with the first edition of Gayaldi (photo Koitz)


On Saturday night the Euskal Etxea of New York was converted into a nightclub to celebrate its first Gayaldi. Not even the bad weather, it rained all night long, nor the cancelation of subway service that goes to the Basque club made a dent in the dozens of people who went to the Basque club to attend the first Gayaldi. Many made their way to the Greenpoint neighborhood in Brooklyn not wanting to miss this historic event in the life of the New York Basque club. The DJ Ron Like Hell, go-go boys Rowan and David, that didn’t stop dancing all night long, added a festive note to an unforgettable evening that will be continued in future editions.

New York, NY.  The idea to celebrate a gay event comes from afar.  In 2005, club president Luis “Koitz” Foncillas, proposed holding a national gay event to then San Francisco Basque club president Xabier Berrueta.  The idea appealed to him, who is not gay, but in the end it didn’t happen since nobody took the time to organize it.

The idea came up again with the arrival of more gay members in New York’s Basque club like Imanol Botxo and Aitzol Azurtza.  Along with Patxi Olabe, veteran member of the institution that will celebrate its centennial next year, decided to put together the first Gayaldi.  The name of the event was born during one of the many activities that the club organizes.  The members hope that it will become one of the club’s annual events.

 The Basque club in New York is the first in the entire country to dedicate a day to gays and lesbians, while the organizers of the event are hoping that other clubs will include a similar activity as part of their annual events that is open to everyone.

“Its logical that the idea would come from New York,” said Koitz, “since many of the Basque immigrants that come to this city are, or better said, we are gay.”  “The idea to do a Gayaldi,” says Imanol,” was immediately supported by the board of directors and the members of the club.”  Imanol emphasized, “That it was not only the first gay party celebrated at the Basque club in New York, but in all of the United States.”  “Once again, New York is ahead of the rest of the country,” joked Aitzol.

The presence of gays in the Basque club is normal, since members bring their friends to participate in the different activities held there.  That is how, during the last few years, the club has modernized.  Without going much further, recently the institution housed a photo exhibit that was exclusively a gay and lesbian theme entitled, “It’s Good to Be Us. A Summer Day on Gay Fire Island.”

The motto chosen for the first Gayaldi was “A Dance Party Celebrating Everything Basque and Queer".

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