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Prague Gay Pride is a relative newcomer on the Pride calendar; the first was held in 2011. Organized by Czech LGBTQ activists and long-term expats in Prague, Gay Pride Prague has become the Czech Republic’s largest LGBTQ event. In fact, figures have shown that in more recent time, Prague Pride has welcomed roughly 40,000 people, proving just how much of an impact the celebration has had on the city in general. In its history, Prague Pride has attracted a range of special guests including singer Conchita Wurst, the former Icelandic PM Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir.
Prague Pride usually runs for roughly one week, and includes the parade, along with a series of workshops, debates, and sports and cultural events. Since 2015, the parade has been led by the Mayor of Prague, and in 2019, the sitting Mayor of Prague, Zdeněk Hřib, officially hung the rainbow flag on the City Hall building - the first time in history.
The hub of Gay Pride Prague is normally Pride Village, which transpires on Střelecký Island, as well as various other locations across the city. While Prague and the Czech Republic in general have often fallen behind many other European nations in terms of LGBTQ rights, Prague Pride is a testament to the growing shift in local attitudes. This is particularly evident by the overall support of local politicians across the political spectrum. So if you would like to witness first-hand the progress Prague has made since 2011, pencil Prague Pride into your calendar this year.
Due to Covid-19 currently affecting the globe, the very nature of Gay Pride Prague will be a little different for 2020. Recognizing the importance of the event for local LGBTQ visbility and solidarity, organizers have decided to curate an online program for Prague Pride 2020, as well as a series of small-scale outdoor events.
The theme for Gay Pride Prague 2020 is "Pride LIVE," which focuses on the importance of interconnection within the community and beyond. Organizers recognize that it is not only essential to broaden awareness of others within the LGBTQ community, but also to bridge connections with those outside. "The tenth Prague Pride simply has the aim of uniting the whole Czech Republic,” says festival director Hana Kulhánková."
A unique aspect of Prague Pride 2020 will be the dedicated online stream, which will transpire for five hours each day for the entirety of Gay Pride Prague. Disseminating everything from panel discussions and workshops to lectures and performances, the online stream will be a great occasion for every spectrum of the community to engage with pertinent issues that relate to LGBTQ rights in Prague and beyond. It will be possible to watch the Pride Stream from festival events on Facebook and YouTube Prague Pride every day from 4pm to 9pm.
In true style of Prague Pride, several of the city's most iconic buildings will also be dressed in rainbow flags, so everyone (whether involved in Prague Pride or not) will be able to recognize the important moment of the year for the local community. There will also be a series of gatherings, however, in light of the current pandemic, significant emphasis will be placed on hygiene measures. This includes limited attendance capacity for particular events, along with stringent hygiene practices.
Over the course of Gay Pride Prague, attendees will be able to reconvene at the open-air Pride Village on Střelecký Island, where the festival’s Opening Ceremony will kick off at 6pm on August 3. The ceremony will be chaired by Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib, along with several other government officials, and as in 2019, the flag will be erected above the City Hall to celebrate the official opening of the event. Gay Pride Prague 2020 will be a truly special moment, as its online breadth will enable the entire population of the Czech Republic to engage should they wish to, paving the way for further progress in the country's overall LGBTQ rights and visibility.
©Facebook/Prague Pride - Patrick Hácha