Tuning in for the Budapest Pride which opened on June 24 and closes, with the Pride March, on July 24, we have brought you a 2-part compilation of stories about how our global interviewees reflect on their Pride experiences in their respective countries. In the first part, you heard about Los Angeles, Amsterdam, Zagreb, and Prague. In the second part, you can read about Belgrade, Geneva, Omaha, and Vienna.
My memories about Pride are pretty personal. It was in 2009 that I was working as a receptionist at a hostel. It was the beginning of autumn and there was huge fuzz around the first Pride Parade (meaning: the first Pride after 2001) that was about to happen in Belgrade. I was watching a tv show and one of the women from Labris was the guest and she was explaining why Pride was crucial to happen for the Serbian society. After the show I called her and we just chatted, she said that some of the activists from the organizing committee were not going to be at the press conference table, and I must say that was a breaking point for me. I thought who is going to stand up for my rights if I’m not standing myself, so I told her that I was going to do it. I told my boss that I needed a lunch break and I left to be one of the announcers of the Belgrade Pride Parade. I just sat there at the table, in silence, and did the performance for the announcement of the date of the Pride Parade. The announcement was in all the news and I think that there was no media that didn’t covered that event, so basically that sitting in the silence was my loudest coming out because every single person that watched that report knew that I am a lesbian.
Read more about Jelena and Serbia here.
In Switzerland, the national Pride parade takes place in a different city each year, and in 2019 it was in Geneva for example. This is really exciting because since it was last held here, many developments have happened and there is much more cohesion between the city and international organizations around LGBTIQ+ issues now. In the bigger cities of the country, for a few years there has been a close collaboration between the local authorities and the local LGBTIQ+ associations around key events such as Coming Out Day (11 October) and the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia & Biphobia (17 May). Around these key dates for the LGBTIQ+ community, you will find awareness posters around the city and conferences taking place, among other things. In Geneva, for example, the city illuminated its landmark, the Jet d’Eau, in rainbow color at night.
Read more about Leila and Switzerland here.
In Omaha there is a very small annual River City Pride celebration and picnic. The Pride celebration in Omaha has quite a nice, warm, and friendly feel, probably exactly because it is much smaller than celebrations in cities like Chicago where I used to go to a lot. Nevertheless, outside of Pride, I liked to drive to the smaller city of Lincoln (about 80km west of Omaha) for LGBTQ+ social events, because their community is for some reason more visible and active.
Read more about Alison and Nebraska here.
n the Pride month, the city of Vienna and official buildings, many companies, even schools, are hoisting rainbow flags; trams will fly the flag and there is good funding for Pride activities, a Pride village, and culture events. Many larger companies will have LGBT groups and there is somewhat a consent in the population that it is "OK to be gay".
Read more about Karin and Austria here.
Happy Pride to everyone! Remember the Budapest Pride March is on June 24.