All for One: Belgian Pride launches on Friday

Summary

With a new theme and a nod to the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, Belgian Pride is gearing up for both a politically active and fun-filled month

Intersectionality

The Belgian Pride festival launches tomorrow, and the 24th edition promises to be a memorable one. Not only is it the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, Belgian Pride organisers have created an animated campaign film to go with its theme of Intersectionality: All for One.

Intersectionality, or multiple identities, is a hot topic among minority groups, which are beginning to realise that many other aspects of one’s identity have as great – or a greater – impact on how they experience the world than being queer.

Rachael Moore, the co-ordinator of Brussels Rainbow House says that she hears stories daily about discrimination and exclusion on the basis of many factors – race, gender, physical disabilities and, of course, sexual identity. With the pride theme, “we want to convey a clear, inclusive message,” she says. “From a solidarity and intersectional point of view, we emphasise that everyone is unique and has the right to a place in society, without discrimination on any grounds whatsoever.”

Peculiar princess

The idea is to remind everyone in the queer community that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. And that the Stonewall riots were instigated by gay, transsexual people and sex workers, united against authorities who were harassing them. “Stand up for each other and for everyone who is still discriminated against and excluded on a daily basis,” says Moore.

To that end, Belgian Pride has released The Peculiar Princess, a short animated video that puts intersectionality into perspective. A princess in a castle has everything she could ever want except for friends. This is because people are wary of her; she was not only pronounced a boy at birth, her skin is “black as midnight”, and she has a club foot – a pretty heavy load for a princess to bear.

The good news is that the princess brings together all people who are different and creates the first Belgian Pride. “We cannot fight racism, homophobia and sexism without the help of all white people,” says Moore. “Together we can and must fight.”

Pride kicks off with a free reception in the City Hall on Friday, 3 May, followed by a procession that will pass by Manneken Pis, resplendent in rainbow colours. Later there are parties, rainbow tours of the capital, debates, theatre and more, all culminating in the big Pride Parade, which winds through the capital on 18 May. The Rainbow Village in the neighbourhood around Rainbow House, on Kolenmarkt, is a Pride hot spot and stays that way through 19 May.

Belgian Pride, 3-19 May, across Brussels

Photo & video courtesy Belgian Pride