Thousands Celebrate Prague Pride 2023: Our Report and Pics
By Nikoleta Stefanova, Adéla Černá, Nana Kokhodze and István Faragó
60,000 people cheered, waved flags and danced during Prague Pride Parade on Saturday. For the 13th time, a crowd of rainbows bursted in Wenceslas Square.
The drummers at the front line set the rhythm of the marching joyful faces. Flags, balloons, wigs and skirts crossed the Vltava river, to reach Letna hill, where the celebration of queer community continued with a concert of American singer LP.
“This is the celebration of who we are and showing everyone that it is okay, we are not special, we are equal,” Míša, 18, said. She came with her three friends from the south of the country, two hours away from Prague. Her parents believed that she had gone on a trip to visit a cat café in a different city as she hides her sexual identity from them.
This year’s topic of the festival was “Tradition,” prompting the people to question what is traditional, which customs should be kept and how to create new ones. The community gathered to march in Prague for the first time in 2011. Since then, the number of attendants has risen from 8,000 to 60,000, according to the Czech Police.
The parade is not only about celebration, but also about raising awareness of the quality of Czech queer people’s life. Alongside the square, the supporters could sign a petition arguing for legalizing same-sex marriage. “I would get married, if I could, of course,” said Ivana, 59, who started openly living as a queer woman half a year ago, “Before that, I was married, I have children. But now, it is clear, finally, I am me.”
For some, Prague Parade is also an opportunity to meet new love interests. Magdalena, Vanda and Jonas, all 20, are in a polyamorous relationship together and they brought an application form for people who might be interested in joining them. “It might turn out well, at least we will have fun and get to know somebody,” Vanda said.
An Italian costume designer for theaters and drag queens outfits, Eliza Zampieri, 35, opened a tailor shop just a few streets away. She was amazed by how much the LGBTQ+ community has grown in Prague in the last year and a half.
“Here, there is so much more going on. I love that I can see everyday gay couples holding hands, kissing, going on with their normal life without fear and it is beautiful. I feel like it’s actually going in the right direction,” Zampieri said.
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