Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Queers struggle for Pride around the world

It's Pride Week in Toronto with two parades set for this weekend - the Dyke March on Saturday June 28th and the Pride Parade on Sunday June 29th. Once again, one million visitors are expected to attend at least part of the celebrations. All the info you'd ever need on Toronto's Pride can be found here.

We, in gay-friendly Toronto, often forget the struggles that queers continue to experience in other, less accepting parts of the country and most of the world.

In India, while several dozen activists have marched in Calcutta in recent years, organizers are preparing for their first gay pride parades in New Delhi and Bangalore this year.

A court in Jerusalem ruled yesterday to allow that city's outdoor Pride parade to go ahead this Thursday. During the 2005 gay parade in that city, an Orthodox Jew stabbed three participants. The assailant was convicted of attempted murder and sentenced to 12 years in prison. A year later the gay community held a closed event in the stadium of the Givat Ram campus of Hebrew University amid pressure from religious elements in the capital.

Even in lovely Dublin, Ireland, this year's recent Pride celebrations were marred when a bomb alert occurred at the city's most popular gay pub. The bomb hoax at the George Pub - a grand establishment I had the pleasure to visit in 2004 - caused a major evacuation and the sealing off of a Dublin street.

Queers in the Czech Republic have also fought for their first chance to march. The so-called "Rainbow Parade" event, planned for this Saturday in Brno, has already caused controversies among far-right and Christian groups.

Beyond these and many other cities around the world, there are also many other countries where Pride celebrations remain a distant dream. Let's not forget that as we safely and responsibly party and celebrate our communities this weekend.


Drew Adamick said...

Let's not forget Pride in other parts of Canada that need it too. Prince George is holding it's Pride Week from June 30th to July 6th, with the Parade on the 5th. Check out http://www.pgpride.com/Society.html.

J@ckp1ne said...

Interesting articles,living in Canada I sometimes don't realize how difficult things can be for gays in other parts of the world.