Credit: Nikol Fojtů

Around 1,000 Participants Join Rainbow Parade To Close Brno Pride Week

A rainbow parade celebrating the queer community crossed the centre of Brno on Saturday, at the close of the week-long Brno Pride Week festival. The march was joined by around 1,000 people, mostly young participants, according to estimates by ČTK and the organisers.

The festival, held for the fourth time, offered three dozen cultural and social events ranging from lectures, church services and children’s book readings to a running competition. The parade was a new addition to the festival, returning after being disrupted by opponents in previous years.

The parade lasted about 90 minutes, and was accompanied by the sound of drums, as well as Lucie Bílá’s hit “Love Is Love”.

Credit: Nikol Fojtů

“The intention was to show in a peaceful way that we are here and have always been here, that queer people do not belong on the margins of society and have the same rights as everyone else,” said Melinda Murárová, the parade’s organiser.

The route was not made public in advance because previous events had been disrupted by opponents. In 2008, the first large parade of sexual minorities in the Czech Republic passed through Brno, with about 500 participants. However, due to attacks from opponents, the route was shortened to 20 minutes instead of the planned two hours. Another parade two years later also encountered hostile incidents.

Credit: Nikol Fojtů

On Saturday, there were minimal people in the streets of Brno, due to the bad weather and the afternoon semi-finals of the ice hockey world championships.

“One of the reasons we didn’t hold the parade [in recent years] was security,” said festival director Michaela Chylová. “Previous rainbow parades under the STUD association, held in 2008 and 2010, were disrupted by extremist speeches. This year, we felt prepared for the parade and wanted to make it in line with our values: peaceful and, most importantly, safe.”

The festival started on 18 May. The aim was to create a safe space for people from the LGBT+ community to feel respected for who they are. This year’s programme was built on three core values of care, education and interconnection.

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