This walking trail on the parade route – the same as in 2019 – exists of twelve plus one portraits by Noortje Palmers by people “who have a strong bond with the LGBTQ community in Antwerp”.
If they say so The organisers wanted diversity of gender, gender identity, age and skin colour in the twelve plus one. That is fine. And it’s the right thing to do. But “a strong bind” sounds very hollow. Ah well.
I walked the walk on Friday night, the 31st of July. Starting at Sint-Jansplein, I couldn’t find number 1, Jitske Van de Veire. It was crowded. Men aged 20 to 50 wore chin masks not face masks, thinking their untouchable by the virus. I didn’t linger on.
At the Paardenmarkt next to the former premisses of the BATS you find Fleur Pierets. The portraits are attached to what the City of Antwerp calls a breugelbak. Some kind of plant pot with flag poles.
Next up is Ludo Smits at the Hessenhuis. Smits founded this gay bar. Straight on there’s the portrait of Maud Vanhauwaert.
When you walk in the direction of the Scheldt River, you see Patrick Reyntiens and Jeroen Van Lievenoogen of Darklands.
When you see the river, turn left. You’ll stumble on Lola McQueen aka Alexander Decrans near his partner’s club Red & Blue.
Further south is Rob Scheers, the odd one out. Scheers was a volunteer at Antwerp Pride. He died of COVID-19.
At the Suikkerrui there is Tayo Oyensanya. At St Anne’s Pedestrian Tunnel you’ll see Hannelore Hooyberghs. Further down the road pioneer Paul Rademaeckers who turns 100 years old on the 31st of August.
The trail rounds up with Nadou Kebede and Hind Eljadid at the M HKA.
Spokesperson Wilfried Eetezonne implores people not to hold mini pride parades. It’s not allowed, it’s not safe. And it will tarnish Antwerp Pride’s goodwill from the city authorities.