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What happened last week? Pride Parades around Europe

What happened last week? Pride Parades around Europe

Thousand’s come together for Amsterdam Canal pride:

The 24th edition of Pride week in Amsterdam was from the 27th of July to the 4th of Aug. The famous Canal Parade took place on 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Aug, along the Amsterdam Unesco canals. Conducted every year since 1996, the Amsterdam pride is considered one of the greatest in the world.

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Image Courtesy – Dutch Review

This year, hundreds of thousands of people came together at Nieuwe Herengracht, Amstel, and Prinsengracht, to witness the Canal parade hosted during Netherland capital’s pride festival. According to the organisers, about 80 boats, beautifully decorated, took part officially in the parade. Including support vessels, the number goes up to 147 boats, that stretched over nearly 2,240 meters.

According to Reuters, with the increasing popularity of the fest, the organisers have had to become stricter. For example, visitors were not allowed to bring their own music system. Furthermore, boats that didn’t buy a special ticket weren’t allowed to participate in the canal parade. Spectators, however, said that despite the rules, the event remains meaningful to them.

Themes this Year:

Different boats had their own themes. Some represented the military, the police, while others represented the organisation that arranged the fest. There were also ships that featured individuals from the STI clinic at healthcare center GGD Amsterdam, AIDS fond, and even shops, like Mr. B’s, that supported the community. Over the years, many MNCs have taken part in this parade, and this year was no exception. Corporations like EY and Philip were prominently featured. Furthermore, there was a vessel that represented Tokyo’s LGBT community.

Image Courtesy – Pride Amsterdam

Finally, SodaStream, a company that is trying to eliminate single-use plastic, and is a staunch supporter of diversity and equality, partnered the event. Their boat float was called ‘ Love of Tomorrow.’ Their boat closed the parade, serving as ‘the route’s janitorial crew of sorts.’ PET bottles that were collected from the canal will be donated to the Plastic Whale Foundation.

The theme for this year’s event? “Remember the past, create the future.” Lucien Spee, director of the Amsterdam Gay Pride said:

“This year we are commemorating the Stonewall riots, which broke out in New York 50 years ago and form a decisive moment in the history of the LGBT-movement.”

-As reported by Euro News.

 Also Read: Is Gender-Cool Clothing the Way Ahead?

What happened at the Hamburg Pride? 

This year’s Hamburg Pride parade slogan is “Fundamentally equal – for a better constitution.” The parade is also known as ‘Christopher Street Day’, and is held in the first week of August. This year, CSD is fighting to bring change to Article 3, the law on sexual orientation and gender identity. The demand is to make discrimination against gender identity and sexual orientation illegal.

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Image Courtesy – Hamburg.de

CSD marks the end of the city’s pride week. This year, about 25 trucks and 27 groups took part in the event, on foot. According to the organisers, more than 200,000 people joined the parade. Peter Tschentscher, the city’s Mayor, led the events while donning a pink shirt. Many city administration officials joined in too. Mayor Tschentscher said,

“We are a tolerant and cosmopolitan city. This diversity is our strength,”

-As reported byHamburger Abendblatt newspaper

Fire interrupts celebrations in Hamburg:

On Saturday, the festivities were interrupted when a fire broke out on one of the floats. At around 1.30pm, in central Hamburg, flames engulfed the “Queer Refugees Support” float. It quickly spread over Hamburg’s Lange Reihe. According to reports, the truck’s power generator caught fire. But thankfully, firefighters got the fire under control, with the parade commencing an hour later. According to one of the organisers, Stefan Mielchen, 4 people suffered mild injuries. They had to be admitted to the hospital for suspected smoke poisoning.

 

“What we see today in Belfast is Northern Ireland at its very best.”

The belfast pride parade is the main attraction of a 10-day festival. The celebrations started at the Custom House Square at 1 pm BST. The event is a celebration of the LGBTQIA community and a protest, of sorts, for equality.

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Image Courtesy – The Independent, Description – Irish Mayor taking a selfie with a visitor

 

Who attended the festival?

For the first time, Leo Varadkar, the Irish Prime Minister (Taoiseach), attended the march. He said “I am not here to be party political in any way, I am just here to celebrate Belfast and Northern Ireland at its best,” – As reported by the Irish Times. He later on tweeted,

“Biggest march in Northern Ireland is not orange or green, it’s rainbow coloured. This is NI at its best. Best of Britishness and Irishness.”

Lord Robert Hayward attended with the Prime Minister Varadkar, saying that he felt “absolutely honoured.” There were other first-timers at the march including, Antrim GAA, BBC Northern Ireland’s Pride Network and Ulster Rugby.  Other participants were members of PSNI, An Garda Siochana, and Ulster Bank.

Highlight of the Parade:

The highlight of the festival, this year, was the pride flag that was flown from Belfast City Hall. A flotilla of boats took the flag down Belfast Lough blasting loud horns as cheers. This was a first for the city.

Image Courtesy – Belfast Live

John Finucane, the Lord Mayor, said that the pride flag had a huge significance. He was there first thing Saturday morning, raising the original Gilbert Baker rainbow flag from the roof of City Hall. He said,

“It sends a powerful message to a community that has been isolated and demonised for so many years in this city, and shows Belfast is vibrant and inclusive.”

-As reported by The Irish Times

What was the theme for this year’s pride you ask? It was ‘Rights Now’ focusing on the laws and rights that are still denied to the LGBTQIA community. Hosted since 1991, this year marks the 28th anniversary for the event. In 1991, only about 100 people participated. However, this year, tens of thousands of people joined the festivities.

UK’s biggest Pride festival – Brighton and Hove Pride:

One of the most popular pride events in the United Kingdom, Brighton and Hove Pride, this year, ran from 2nd to the 4th of Aug. About 300,000 people attended the parade, celebrating ongoing campaigns for LGBT rights in the city. The giant rainbow flag carried along the seafront was the parade’s main attraction. With its birght colours, the flag looks absolutely mesmerising.

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Image Courtesy – Brighton and Hove Independent

This year’s event was a tribute and commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Inn uprising that took place in New York in 1969. And the theme for this year? “Generations of Love”. The Festival had 2 parts – Pride In the Park on 3rd Aug, and LoveBN1 on 4th Aug.

Featured Performances:

The event featured lots of performances. Kylie Minogue headlined the festival, on Saturday, at Preston Park. Other performances showcased, Clean Bandit, X Factor finalist Fleur East, tribute act Björn Again, Alice Chater and Zak Abel. Similarly, the streets of Brighton was equally busy. Burlesques, comedy acts, cabaret, and performance art painted the streets rainbow. Furthermore, they could also be seen on the BAME and QueerTown stages. Grace Jones and Jessie J were the highlights for the LoveBN1 Fest on the 4th.

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Image Courtesy – Metro

The carnival of colours took a new route through the North Road. However, it is just an exception, this year, owing to the ongoing restoration work that is happening in the city. As one of its key elements, Brighton and Hove pride hosted campaigns against on transphobia, biphobia, racism and homophobia.

If you think that this is it for August, THINK AGAIN. Prague is set to start its gay pride event today till the 11th of this month. Munich is going to be hosting its annual gay outdoor party, Hans Sachs Strassenfest, on the 10th. Finally, Barcelona has scheduled its 10-day Circuit festival to start on the 8th of Aug. This is regarded as one of the world’s greatest gay fests worldwide.

Want to read more? 12 Must Try- Gay Bars Around the World

Source Credit: Amsterdam Gay Pride, BBC, Brighton Pride, Deutsche Welle, Euro News, Hamburg Pride, Independent Online,
Indulge Express, Irish News, Irish Time, Metro, NL Times, Reuters, The Drum, 

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