20 MAY 2023 | Belgian Pride now Brussels Pride – The Belgian & European Pride

The Belgian Pride has become Brussels Pride – The Belgian & European Pride. At least on Facebook. For the first time in ten months and under two months before the main event, Brussels Pride has awakened on social media. There is also a new website.

Visit Brussels confirms the pride parade will be held on Saturday 20 May at “various places” in Brussels.

“Join us in Brussels on 20 May for Brussels Pride – The Belgian & European Pride”, Brussels Pride says on a new website.

“It’s a day of celebration and protest that remains as important to all as it ever was. Let’s come together to assert our fundamental right to protest. ‘Protect the Protest‘, Amnesty International‘s campaign slogan, has been adopted as the theme for Brussels Pride – The Belgian & European Pride.”

“Protest is a fundamental human right. The LGBTQIA+ movement knows how crucial the freedoms of association and expression are for progress. These rights must be granted or upheld, in Belgium, in Europe and around the world.”

“We kick off the Pride festivities of 10 to 19 May with Pride Week, which will host conferences, debates and activities around themes that are dear to the community.”

“Join us at 12 noon on 20 May at the Mont des Arts. At 14:00, after the speeches, the Pride Parade will take to the streets of the city centre, and visit the associations in the Pride Village. Head to the Rainbow Village and feel the atmosphere and excitement as it takes over the streets of the city centre.”

“New this year! Not one but three stages will host LGBTQIA+ artists. They will fire up energy levels and have you dancing all day long. As you know, Brussels Pride – The Belgian & European Pride is an inclusive event that’s open to all. In order to enjoy it in the best conditions, SAFER Pride spaces will be stationed at several strategic locations to ensure everyone’s safety. You can also report any inappropriate or offensive behaviour with regard to your gender and/or identity.”

What’s going on?

Brussels Pride released three pdf’s with some explanations. 

“We are pleased to announce the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between visit.brussels, çavaria, RainbowHouse, Prisme and the Rainbow Federation for the organisation of Pride 2023 in Brussels.”

“For the past ten years, non-profit organisation Belgium Pride has been co-organising pride with visit.brussels. The members of Belgium Pride, however, have now decided to put an end to their activities. Nevertheless, the various management teams and the Rainbow Federation met as a steering committee to define the content and programming of Pride 2023. Due to the success of the event over the last few years, the steering committee felt that it was necessary to professionalise the organisation in order to guarantee the safety of all participants and ensure optimal management of the subsidies received for the event. The committee, therefore, asked visit.brussels to take over the coordination and management of the subsidies.” 

“The content and programming will be handled by the committee, which meets regularly and transmits information to the coordinator. A coordinator and an assistant were selected by the committee on the basis of a call for applications and subsequently hired by visit.brussels. They will work in close collaboration with the committee and visit.brussels’ teams.”

“The operation will be assessed before the summer, to define the best possible sustainable organisation for the years to come.”

Brussels Pride – The Belgian & European Pride

The official name of the event will be ‘Brussels Pride – The Belgian & European Pride’. Pride Day will take place on 20 May 2023. RainbowHouse is coordinating Pride Week, starting on 10 May, while visit.brussels is committed to supporting it with communication.

The members of the steering committee are in favour of a return of the parade to the city-centre. A similar route to the one taken in 2018 is being considered: Mont des Arts to the pedestrian zone of The Mint to Sablon.

The idea is also to set up several stages of different styles and sizes, so that the public are not all concentrated in one place, with a preference for the following locations: 

  • De Brouckère
  • Bourse
  • Sainte-Catherine
  • Albertine.

Who is allowed?

“It is important that associations and activists have a place at the head of the procession, then political parties and commercial companies can follow behind them.”

The management teams plan to send out information to associations and activists, while the coordinator will coordinate registrations with the teams.

“Political parties wishing to take part will need to apply in advance. They will have to commit to setting up an information booth during pride and take part in a debate organised by media partners.”

Commercial companies wishing to take part will first be vetted internally, including a quick scan of their inclusion programme. They will be asked to initiate the inclusion scan for future years and to confirm it by means of a sworn statement.

Return of the trucks and floats

Another plan is to bring back the floats. “As far as the participation of electric versus internal combustion vehicles is concerned, we will remain within the existing regional framework, with no exceptions.”

“The final route will be a determining factor in this decision.”

Past and present

The new Brussels Pride does address the elephant in the room. 

“Past: it is important to close past affairs, especially the accounts and debts of the non-profit organisation The Belgian Pride. The internal conflicts and frictions of the past must also be resolved with a view to future recovery and the stabilisation of the current situation in a correct and civilised way.”

“Present: with only a few months to go before the event, it is essential to take care of Pride 2023 using an ad hoc formula. visit.brussels is fully committed to Pride 2023 in terms of logistics, administration and communication and will also take care of the financial aspects for 2023. The content remains the responsibility of the umbrella organisations and associations within the framework of a steering

committee. visit.brussels will temporarily hire a coordinator, to be appointed by the steering committee. This is an emergency solution while waiting for a definitive relaunch.”

“Future: Pride is by its nature and history, a civil society event to which all the organisation, coordination and financing must be recuperated in the long run. The current economic model must be a one-off and required by the urgency of implementation for 2023. At the same time, we are working on a definitive solution for Pride from 2024. A final agreement must be on the table for July 2023.”

Theme: Protect the Protest

This year’s theme is ‘Protect the Protest’.

“Protest is a fundamental human right. Today, this right is subject to all kinds of pressure all over the world, and Europe is no exception.”

“A slogan that serves as a rallying call for everyone to exercise their fundamental right without hindrance or violence. Protest comes in different forms: in the street, in a meeting, alone, with family, virtually, in the attire of your choice. There are many objectives: asserting oneself, debating, contesting, challenging and encouraging a change in norms towards greater justice and equality.”

Queer Belgium

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