The fashion-forward and LGBT-loving Belgian city of Antwerp is recovering from an explosion of global gayness this week, after the previous two weeks saw multiple major international events going down around town.
The sporting portion of the Outgames then began on August 3, with about 5,000 athletes from 118 countries – a record number of nations for an LGBT sporting event – competing in more than 30 events over the next nine days.
On August 4, the Mr. Gay World competition also took place in Antwerp, with a New Zealander, Christopher Olwage, taking the title for the second year in a row.
Then last Friday, Antwerp’s LGBT center, Het Roze Huis (The Pink House), sponsored an international news-making “To Russia with Love” Kiss-In in front of the city’s Russian consulate, in protest of that country’s infamous gay propaganda laws. Demands included a call on Antwerp to formally cut ties to one of its sister cities, St. Petersburg.
To cap things off, on Saturday came the annual Antwerp Pride parade through the city’s streets, with some 35,000 people taking part and cheering on. Participants included the city’s very gay-friendly Vice Mayor Philip Heylen, the Outgames athletes (including its Russian delegates, who received rousing cheers), and a Norwegian contingent promoting next year’s Oslo Europride 2014.
Later in the evening, a massive Supergays dance party was held along the waterfront in the city’s Hangar 29. Thousands partied well into the wee hours, when headliner Loreen (Sweden’s winner of the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest) performed.
Photos by Dan Allen, World Outgames Antwerp, & Kurt Drossaert