The Belgian Pride’s 21st edition will be held this weekend in Brussels. Climax will be the parade on Saturday, less than 2 months after the attacks of March 22. Here are 10 reasons to not miss this year's largest LGBT gathering in Belgium.
As in 2015, the city will be light up in rainbow colors for 2 weeks with magnificent illuminations on emblematic buildings of the city, Grand-Place, several office buildings (Roger, Botanique), as well as the Montgomery fountains, Stephanie Square, and the Mont des Arts. (See photos © Zizo Online)
Love is on its way
This year, the Belgian Pride has its own official anthem, sung by gay Brussels icon LaDiva Live. "Love is one its way" is an original song, an hymn to love without gender, without race, without borders, without age. So Eurovision! Listen and download here.
This year, the organizers put the spotlight on the trans community with a campaign called "I decide" as "I decide to approach life as a woman, man or another gender identity. To have the name I want. Of what should appear on my official documents. If I want to change my body or not. " Therefore the main demand will be "a gender identity law that meets international standards of human rights, based on respect and self-identification."
LGBT Film Festival
During the two weeks preceding the weekend of Pride, the organizers combine with the Cinematek to show movies in conjunction with the theme of the year, the representation of transgender people in the movies. Among the films to discover or rediscover, Transamerica by Duncan Tucker (2005), Boys Do not Cry by Kimberly Pierce (1999), In a Year with 13 Moons by Rainer W. Fassbinder (1978) or M. Butterfly (1993) by David Cronenberg.
In Brussels, even buses are rainbow
This year, a bus and a tram will drive for a month in the Brussels region covered with the colors of the rainbow. According to Brussels Minister Pascal Smet, "with the slogan « Brussels is all of us », we want to show that the STIB public transport is a company that attaches great importance to diversity and equality"
The Big Parade
The highlight of this visibility festival of the LGBTQ communty, the parade attracted nearly 100,000 people in the last 2 editions. Scheduled this Saturday, May 14, it had to adapt to the post-attack situation. Out of respect for the memorial that emerged Place de la Bourse after March 22, the parade will move exceptionally to another location, the Mont des Arts. Entries to the Pride Village will be limited to three accesses only. The route has also been modified to facilitate securing the parade. See the map below:
The Good idea!
The gay pride parades are often an opportunity to dress up. But the distance between your bathroom and the parade is sometimes (too) long. So since 2014, the organizers, together with a partner hotel set up a cloakroom, where everyone can come to prepare or just drop a backpack or coat (Marriott Hotel, Rue Orts 3-7, 12am - 0:30 )
Brussels is a festive capital, so the party will continue way after the parade! It will continue even until late everywhere in the city, the Mont des Arts, in Brussels gay district, with street parties in rue Marché au Charbon, rue des Pierres and rue du Beurre.
Throughout the weekend from Friday through Sunday, the gay and lesbian scene will host evening parties that offer something for everyone: Brüxsel Jardin, Los Ninos XXL, Fly, Rebel, L party, but also Revelation, Brussels newest leather & fetish party, who turns 2 yo. And of course La Démence will host a huge "Lollipop" party at the Fuse Club on Sunday, with DJs Rafa Nunes, Oliver M. or Steven Redant. The whole Pride parties program here.
The Tram Experience
To finish the weekend in style, what better than to board the Tram Experience? Transformed into a design and stylish gourmet restaurant, the tram will serve a 6 course meal preprared by Svetlana Riskova from Riga while visiting Brussels by night, listening to a very gay playlist for more than 2 hours. Aboard will be some of Brussels iconic gay celebrities.
Proud and Clean!
100,000 people celebrating the pride of being different are a lot of people. So this year, the organizers want this Pride to be the cleanest possible. They doubled the number of free toilets and bins in the PrideVillage and along the Pride Parade. They will also encourage people to bring back empty bottles and cups (in exchange for a free drink) and remind everyone that urinating anywhere can cost a €100 fine!