The 2017 Pride Week started with a two-hour long series of speeches. The most compelling speaker of the day was clearly theatre director Kriszta Székely, whose main topic was self-identity. Besides her, Lajos Parti Nagy, Eszter Bánfalvi, Noémi Barkóczi, Szilvia Nagy, Blanka Vay and Martin Hegedüs spoke up, all highlighting that freedom should be a fundamental human right.
“I welcome the state leaders, if they’re here!” - started her speech Eszter Bánfalvi, hostess of the event. Even though state leaders did not show up, political figures such as Péter Juhász, president of the Together party and Gábor Fodor, leader of the Hungarian Liberal Party were present at the opening ceremony. The atmosphere of the event was of course not defined by which politicians were present. We heard a few smart, outspoken and lively speeches that nearly made us believe that it is worth thinking openly and living a life true to ourselves.
Ask questions, doubt the world and the system that surround you constantly and try aswering the questions around us again and again. This is how we improve.
The audience encored Kriszta Székely back on stage. The woman, who started as a ballet dancer but later became a theatre director spoke with a refreshingly personal tone about us having to make the best out of ourselves as humans and the obligation of society to help this happen. After her coming-out that didn’t surprise many, she spoke out for same-sex marriage addressing her words to the majority of society, saying
We just want equal rights, we don’t want to take the tradition away from you that is based on the oppression of women.
She emphasized her support for relationships that allow both partners to identify and express themselves the way they want. Although she mentioned it more than once that she couldn’t and didn’t want to give a political speech, her presence was very important - we saw it clearly how powerful it is when somebody speaks out baldly about basic human values.
Szilvia Nagy, president of the Rainbow Mission Foundation who is also known as organiser of and DJ at the Ösztrosokk party series said that she was positive that we together can actively help Hungary become a more livable place not only for LGBTQ people but for everyone. Blanka Vay, former politician of LMP - Politics Can Be Different party, a transgender woman called the audience to resolve tension within the LGBTQ community. As she said, we must join forces to be able to stand up effectively to combat social injustice.
Being LGBTQ becomes a public matter if it can’t be, if they don’t let it to be a personal matter and as such be self-evident.
- said Lajos Parti Nagy, who explained that he’s involved because he’s heterosexual. He said he hoped that Hungary would one day have an LGBTQ prime minister and its parliament would be made up of people as diverse as the Hungarian society.
In between the speeches Noémi Barkóczi and Henri Gonzo played music, a message was broadcasted by a Canadian hockey player and this year’s official Pride video was presented as well (go to captions for english subs):
The yearly prize of Háttér Society was awarded to Péter Hanzli for his contribution to the LGBTQ society.
The rural LGBTQ communities were represented by Martin Hegedüs, activist of PeMel, the LGBTQ Assiciaion of Pécs. The part of his speech that touched our hearts the most was when he reflected vividly on the way his appearance differs from what society expects him to look like and said that we are all beautiful.
HERE you can find the event calendar of the 10-day-long Budapest Pride festival. This year the Pride March starts at 3 pm, 8th July from Kossuth square.
Translated by Ibolya Nagy