Growing Gay Pride Events
It’s easy to view all gay pride events as big parties where everyone is welcome and no one ever feels unsafe, especially if you’ve only ever experienced ones in Europe or North America.
There are plenty of other places around the world where people are not so lucky, and still face varying degrees of intolerance towards celebrating pride, or indeed cannot celebrate at all (I’m looking at you, Russia).
Here are three countries where pride events are still in their infancy, and could do with all the support they can get.
Considering it is one of South America’s least developed countries, Bolivia is surprisingly accepting of diversity. Even the name of the country celebrates the fact: Estado Plurinacional de Bolivia (The Plurnational State of Bolivia). There are currently no specific protections for LGBT people in the country, but activist groups are pushing for non-discrimination laws to explicitly include them.
The de facto capital, La Paz, has had a pride parade (lead by the mayor) in recent years, but the lesser touristed city in the centre of the country, Cochabamba, has a relatively strong (for a city of just 600,000) pride parade held in June that’s only been going since 2010.
The situation for LGBT people in Uganda is among the worst in the world, but recently a law against “promoting homosexuality” was overturned and activists in the country were allowed to hold their first ever pride event earlier this year in Entebbe, a city on Lake Victoria, outside the capital.
Though only attended by just over 100 people, there was no violence or protest and hopefully will be able to repeat it next year. There’s still a long way to go in Uganda to achieving equality for the LGBT community, but this marks a great step in the right direction.
Public opinion of homosexuality in Serbia is pretty dismal and violence towards the LGBT community is unfortunately common. However, 2014 saw the first time in four years that a pride event has been held in Belgrade since participants were attacked by protestors during the 2010 event.
This year, there was some violence at the parade itself, but the strong police presence contained and charged perpetrators. Undoubtedly this move to reinstate the event is related to Serbia’s desire to join the EU, but nonetheless, is a good thing for the LGBT community there and will hopefully continue.