PRIDE IS YOU,
PRIDE IS THEM,
PRIDE IS US!
Words: Jason Kattenhorn
Artwork: Ben Faulkner Gant
It is pride month and you may have noticed an abundance of colourful flags and lots of celebrating in towns or cities near you. The first Pride took place in New York 1970, one year after the Stonewall Riots, where Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons protested against the police together after a series of raids on the Stonewall Inn, New York.
Each year has seen these protests get bigger and better; however, it was not until 1991 that Pride began to look like what it is today. Not only is Pride still a political and social protest but it is a time to celebrate the expansive expression of what it means to be LGBTQ+ in all its forms
Cisgender, white, gay and lesbian people tend to hold the power when it comes to representation at Prides but do not want to share it. The importance of Pride is that anyone, queer, straight and everyone in between can take pride in being their true selves. I am looking forward to seeing a more intersectional Pride event, which celebrates every facet of the queer community and our right to exist without persecution. It is so amazing then that June marked the first day of Euro Pride in Vienna. This year’s theme is Visions of Pride where they are putting visions of the future into reality. Maybe a diverse intersectional queertopia is not in the too distant future.
We spoke to Kristine Garina, President of EuroPride EPOA about this year’s event in Vienna.
How important are Pride events?
In a world where far right, nationalist and populist politics are on the rise, and where intolerance and hatred are rearing their ugly heads far too often, Pride is just as important now as it ever was. It gives a vital opportunity for LGBTI people all over the world to say ‘we are here and we will not be silent’.
One of the most wonderful things about Pride is the way it includes every section of the community. The Stonewall uprising was led by queer and trans people of colour, and although there are undoubtedly problems of racism, biphobia and transphobia in the LGBTI community, I’m always pleased to see Prides really doing so much more to build on and respect intersectionality in what they do. Of course, there is always more that can be done!
How is the host city selected?
Our members are Pride organisations across Europe, and if they wish to host EuroPride they present a bid to our annual conference. Our members then consider their bids, and vote on the winner. This year we have five Prides bidding for EuroPride 2022 – the most that has ever competed at the same time!
What can one expect from this year’s event?
Vienna is hosting EuroPride for the second time, and this year we are expecting well over half a million people in the iconic Rainbow Parade on the Vienna Ring Road, a three day human rights conference, and an incredible schedule of entertainment, talks, events and activities for everyone. We also cannot forget that in June, we are also marking 50 years since the Stonewall uprising, and Europe’s queer eyes will certainly be on Vienna!
What city would you love to see host in the future?
My organisation, Mozaika in Latvia, hosted EuroPride in 2015 – the first time it had been in a former Soviet country. I would love to see more EuroPrides in countries in eastern and south-eastern Europe. Maybe one day even in Russia.
How can people support and celebrate even if they are not part of the LGBTQ+ community?
Allies are so important to Pride, but it is also important that they come with respect and love. Pride is not a theme park; it is an important show of visibility and celebration of difference.
Who are your Queroes?
I do not really have heroes – or queroes! Each and every one of us who marches, minces, dances or parades at Pride is a hero! And let’s not forget the thousands of volunteers who give up weeks and months of their lives to make Pride happen!
Vision of Queertopia?
A world where Pride almost becomes unnecessary, because everyone, everywhere has the freedom to love whoever they want, however they want, without judgment, violence, discrimination and hatred.
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