June 20, 2013

Pride across the network


WJNH goes Belgian Pride

WJNH, or Wel Jong Niet Hetero (Young But Not Straight), is an LGBT-organization for youth living in the Flemish and Brussels regions of Belgium. This year WJNH managed to launch an action together with OutTv, Amnesty International and IGLYO concerning global LGBT-rights. On May 16th, two people – including WJNH-spokesman Michiel Vanackere – were locked in a cage for 48 hours to protest the lack of LGBT-rights in some countries. Or, as Michiel put it, “In Belgium we fight homophobia, in some other countries people fights homosexuality”. Everybody who passed the cage had the opportunity to hang a ribbon at the bars to show their solidarity. After 48 hours in a small cage, plagued by Belgium’s finest weather (lots of rain), the cage was opened by several Belgian politicians and the youngsters were being released at the start of the 18th Belgian Pride on stage. The project that was titled “The consequences of being yourself” was picked up in various Belgian national media; online news, printed news and on the 7 o’clock journal. WJNH also worked together with the French speaking Belgians this year, in order to strengthen the ties between our organizations. The poster campaign showed a man proposing his lover and a woman proposing her lover with the words “Would you … like to go to the pride with me?”. Les CHEFF and WJNH walked the pride together. That way, members of both organizations got to meet each other and had a chance to enjoy laughter, chats and fun together. 80 000 people participated in the Pride this year, 10 000 more than in the 17th edition. As always, the Belgian Pride was a party for everybody who was there, an excellent place to meet new people who are equally happy as you at that moment and who know what the rights they have are worth. We are all looking forward to the 19th editio

Pride in Portugal

Vanessa from rede ex aequo told us a bit about Pride in Portugal.

– Does Pride happen in your country or region?

Yes, Pride is celebrated every year in Lisbon, Porto, Açores and this year, the city of Braga is organizing its first March.

– The challenges in marking Pride in your country.

It’s mostly a lot of voluntary work spent in organizing parades and parties to mark the season, together with numerous other LGBT and LGBT-friendly organizations, as well as the financial needs and sacrifices that have to be made in unison due to the lack of financial support from governmental entities.

– What you organise for Pride?

Pride Parades, we call it a Pride Marches, a small place in a huge party called Arraial which is held in Lisbon every year and social dinners to celebrate Pride.

– How LGBTQ youth take part?

We organize to march together in the Pride Parade and everyone can take part in helping our youth association during the Arraial hours.

– Why is Pride important for you?

Since 2002, rede ex aequo works towards visibility for LGBT youth and Pride is one of the major opportunities of the year to for that. By showing society who we are, we break down stereotypes and misconceived notions of what we look like and how we behave, for we are just like your daughters, sons, friends, schoolmates, neighbors, etc. In our goal to support LGBT youth and to educate society into being inclusive towards sexual orientation and gender expression and identity, visible positive role models are part of the key and for a well adjusted LGBT youth, it is the opportunity to help others.  By celebrating Pride and walking in the Pride Marches we also hope to awake society into creating laws that protect youths in their schools and family environments, especially against bullying.

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