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  CZECH OUT

PHOTOS: Prague Pushes Post-Porn With Premiere Pride

 

Prague took a major step toward forever blasting its pesky gay image as merely a Slavic porn utopia with its first-ever pride this past weekend. The five-day gayfest included a full slate of more than 80 parties, seminars, films and exhibitions around the gorgeous Czech capital, including several bold offerings like Thursday’s Transgender Me photo show opening.

The weekend’s highlight was natch Saturday’s inaugural Prague Pride Parade, officially drawing a procession of about 5,000 queers and friendlies from around the Czech Repub and the world. It also drew about 100 rabidly gay-hating neo-Nazi protestors, kept under firm Czech check by a police force of around 300 (who clearly wanted no repeats of the country’s first gay pride, in its second city of Brno in 2008, when right wing demonstrators overpowered police and physically assaulted marchers).

The Prague festivities might have gone unnoticed by most Czechs had the country’s president, Vaclav Klaus, not brought it to fore with a stream of bigotry that dominated local front pages in the weeks leading up to pride. Klaus balked when the city’s mayor Bohuslav Svoboda and the ambassadors from 13 countries pledged support for the event, and when his own deputy chancellor, perennial lunatic Petr Hajek, called homosexuals “deviants”, Klaus refused to denounce Hajek’s words. This prompted that most famous of Czech-born gays, Martina Navratilova, to invite Klaus to “join the parade and see what we are all about!” Not surprisingly, Prez Klaus was a no-show.

Also absent (owing to illness) was Brit crooner Jimmy Somerville, who’d been meant to headline the after-parade music festival on Prague’s lovely Strelecký Island. This thrust über-gay Ukrainian dance phenom Kazaky onto the top of the pride fest bill — certainly not the Eurocamp troupe’s first involvement with thrusting, nor presumably topping.

With a great turnout, extremely positive vibe, lack of right wing aggression (save for a harmless smoke bomb or two, quickly dealt with by police), and cooperative weather (save for a brief AM downpour or two, quickly dealt with by rainbow umbrellas), Prague Pride’s debut was viewed by all involved as a massive success. Organizers are already planning an even “better, more colorful and bigger” Prague Pride for next year.

By:           Dan Allen
On:           Aug 17, 2011
Tagged: , , ,

  • 5 Comments
    • Michael
      Michael

      Loving # 18 yummy.

      Aug 17, 2011 at 9:39 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mike in Asheville
      Mike in Asheville

      Well a big ol’ CHEERS to Prague!!!

      And remember, those early gay pride parades in NYC, SF and Chicago — well there were many violence advocating counter-protesters attempting to intimidate parade goers. The early SF pride events were followed, twice, by arson sprees that destroyed over a dozen businesses and resulted in a three (from 30+ years memory here; it might have been two) murders.

      Best wishes to all upcoming out and proud pride events everywhere around the globe! It does get better, and the parades get more fabulous!

      Aug 17, 2011 at 9:49 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jmop
      jmop

      How is it possible that BelAmi didn’t represent in this parade??

      Aug 17, 2011 at 3:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jim Hlavac
      Jim Hlavac

      Vyborny, tak, jsem stastny, priste rok budim bit v praze! — Amazing, well, I’m happy, next year I’ll be in Prague! (Ah, ya, I got relatives there; I speak the local lingo, too.) Here’s one we can all use: Hezko chlapec, dej mi hubicku! — Pretty guy, give me a kiss! And, much to my mother’s undying grace and humor, my name “jim hlavac” means, “I eat big head.” Oh well, ma; thanks.

      But gorgeous pictures they are, and just goes to show that this gay thing is a worldwide phenomenon that just won’t quit. We put the Energizer bunny to shame. Politicians ought to learn this, and quick.

      Aug 17, 2011 at 4:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bastiaan
      Bastiaan

      Thanks for the nice words and the great article… nevertheless an update on the numbers…

      Overall all 80 events were visited by about 25.000 people

      the march (confirmed by the police) attracted over 7.000 people and realistically only about 30-40 nazi’s that themselves fell half quiet after seeing the size of our parade.

      The island festival had about 11.000 attendees.

      Our facebook wall is so full of wonderful comments that we have decided to repeat the festival in August of 2012… http://www.facebook.com/praguepride for all the updates. It promises to be bigger and better!

      Aug 17, 2011 at 6:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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