Gay Pride Festival Comes to Prague

08/08/2011
Submitted by ILGA-Europe

Original article: http://intransit.blogs.nytimes.co.../gay-pride-festival-comes-to-prague/

Starting Aug. 10, Prague will hold its inaugural gay pride festival with a tag line that nicely sets the tone: “Drink Beer, Be Queer!”

“It’s not a shame to be gay anymore,” said Daniel Kupsovsky, a festival spokesman. “Prague, unlike most of the Eastern European capitals, will not create Pride as a protest, but as a celebration of tolerance — and a street party, because we feel there is not much to protest about.”

Organizers have pulled together an impressive list of 30 venues around the city that will host more than 60 different events over the four-day festival. The program ranges from the traditional (picnics, concerts, speed-dating) to the titillating (events with titles like “Flirt After Party” and “Memoirs of a GAYsha”) to the down-right risqué (with names that can’t be printed here).

The main parade, scheduled for Aug. 13, will wind its way through the capital’s historic districts, ending up on Strelecky ostrov, an island on the Vltava River, where a series of musical acts — including the openly gay Scottish singer Jimmy Somerville and a dance group called Kazaky — will keep party revelers entertained all evening long.

Prague Pride comes three years after the Czech Republic’s second largest city, Brno, staged its own pride march. A first for the country, the 2008 event drew hundreds of supporters from around the region. Mr. Kupsovsky anticipates the capital’s Pride festivities will attract thousands. “The streets will be flooded with rainbow flags, music,” he said. “We are happy the queer community is finally showing their self confidence.”

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