Faces of Pride: Czeslaw Walek || Prague Pride

“Come to Prague and support us by visiting Prague Pride. We aspire to be the first Eastern European country to legalize equal marriage and we need your help.”

Faces Of Pride: Julia Maciocha || Warsaw Pride

“For me it’s important because it’s gathering many minorities, not only LGBTQ people. We have 13 demands and more and more people are joining the parade because they feel this is their celebration too. It’s only one day in Warsaw when people can wear rainbow, hold hands and be protected by the police. It’s like a big breath we take, that we have to hold for one year.”

Faces Of Pride: Kaye Ally || Johannesburg Pride

“Don’t turn a blind eye to the plight of the LGBT+ community in Africa. Africa needs your support!”

Faces Of Pride: Evie Wu || Shanghai Pride

“This year is the 10th year of pride in Shanghai and we initiate CnPRIDE at this moment with grassroots organizations around Mainland China, that have developed for years and that have the capability to organize a festival or an event for their local community. From May to July, the whole community around the mainland can celebrate TOGETHER!”

Faces of Pride: Tin & Linus || Hong Kong Pride

“The growth of HK Pride as an event, and to see how the crowd changes is pretty remarkable. At 2008 we had 1.000 participants and now in about 10 years time by 2017 we had 10.000 participants. Last year’s survey even showed there are about 18% straight people that came to support their queer friends and family, which is really a nice thing to see.”

Faces of Pride

For the summer months most of our social media feeds are full of posts about Pride. It’s Pride Month, and for a lot of people, that’s great!

I’ve seen so many happy people celebrating, some posting about their personal and collective achievements due to their respective Pride parades, parades that took place for the very first time this year and of course also those that got cancelled and where people got arrested for organizing or participating in Pride parades. Most news were positive. These posts all came from friends and people I’ve connected with through mutual activism; they live all over the world and do amazing work.

On the other hand, almost all of my friends and contacts from Germany and the US only post critically about Pride: the rainbow flag not being inclusive, the selling-out of Pride, the racism, the anti-semitism, the pinkwashing and so much more. I love all of these people and value their opinions equally. So sometimes I find it hard to position myself between these two poles, both of which I understand and agree with.

Last year, I went to the Pride parades in Sofia and Montenegro and saw firsthand what the Pride meant to people. I saw how important and what a huge step it was to have police support, to be allowed to march and to have your safety protected. I also know what it means for people to have businesses publicly support you in places where most families would not accept you if you came out. I feel incredibly lucky that I had a chance to learn about this and to meet so many lovely people when I was invited to show TQU’s #TheGalleryProject in both of these places.

Until then, I never cared much about Pride parades and was definitely on the criticizing end. My experiences with Pride parades in Germany made me uncomfortable. They were dominated by white gay men, a party without much political course and the companies and politicians on the floats celebrating Pride weren’t doing anything for the rights of the LGBTQI community the rest of the year. It was never a place where I saw my struggles represented or felt safe or even welcome.

So I wanted to explore these different pictures that I had of Pride and I wanted to do this in a way that anyone else interested could profit from it too. And I wanted to conduct it  in a way that would highlight the people behind the Prides, the people that put hours of work, if not their whole lives into making these events happen, but are hardly ever seen or recognized by the participants.

You can find #FacesOfPride on Instagram and Twitter and you can read the full interviews on TQU’S website. Faces of Pride is made up of a lot of extraordinary people making the most amazing things happen. I cried many times reading their wise and kind words, and feel humbled that they answered my questions.

I’m very glad to present to you this little zine full of hope, full of love and strength, full of power and the will to make a difference.

As for myself, I will keep criticizing mainstream prides for their hypocrisy, racism, anti-semitism, pinkwashing, capitalist exclusion, etc. wherever necessary while at the same time supporting all of those for whom Pride is an amazing tool to strengthen their rights and visibility, and a moment of relief in hard times. I encourage you to do the same, so that we can all be proud together.

Love and strength and solidarity to all of you,

Verena, founder of TQU

Happy (critical) Pride 2018 everyone!

FACES OF PRIDE

– interviews

Faces of Pride – Zine

Faces of Pride – Zine

Happy (critical) Pride 2018 everyone! Download and view Pride zine here!

Interviews with pride organizers from all around the world. Ever wondered what’s still political about Pride? This is!
Faces of Pride: Natalino Ornai Guterres || Timor-Leste Pride

Faces of Pride: Natalino Ornai Guterres || Timor-Leste Pride

“To me personally, it was amazing to see changes take place over the past year. Last year, my brother who was previously not accepting of my sexual orientation, came to march with me. This year, my mother, who was also not accepting of my sexual orientation last year, came to Pride this year. “
Faces of Pride: Slavco Dimitrov | Skopje Pride Weekend

Faces of Pride: Slavco Dimitrov | Skopje Pride Weekend

“Heteronormativity has always been also co-constituted with a class system of capitalist exploitation, racial divisions and exclusions on the grounds of ethnicity, hence fighting sexual and gender inequality must attend to all these other inequalities and systems as well.”
Faces of Pride: Ilisapeci Raileqe | Fiji Pride

Faces of Pride: Ilisapeci Raileqe | Fiji Pride

“To all the LGBTIQ communities, please let us support each other and be proud of who we are. I believe we go through many forms of discrimination, stigma, violence and many of us have experienced mental, physical, and psychosocial issues as a result of the aggressive actions around us, and so with the little we have and the spaces we are exposed to – like the Pride March – Let’s utilize it fully to raise a collective call and awareness to bring about change, acceptance, love, respect and we must persevere on.”
Faces of Pride: Lasia Casil || Guam Pride

Faces of Pride: Lasia Casil || Guam Pride

“It was a challenge because Pride had never been celebrated out in the open before here on the island. There were parties in the nightclubs, but I felt it was important to make it inclusive for all ages and the entire community to participate.”
Faces of Pride: Jessica Lima || Ljubljana Pride

Faces of Pride: Jessica Lima || Ljubljana Pride

“It’s time we work together, and that we work through/despite our differences. It’s important to stay true to our political goals, but we need to be able to compromise and be able to come together as a community and do the work that needs to be done: educate, raise awareness, organise & mobilise, etc. Our egos cannot stay in the way of our work.”
Faces of Pride: Rosanna Flamer-Caldera || Colombo Pride

Faces of Pride: Rosanna Flamer-Caldera || Colombo Pride

“It is important to mainstream our issues, visialise the LGBTIQ community and give people in Sri Lanka a taste of Queer culture. It goes very far to encourage LGBTIQ persons to come out and feel proud of themselves and also to show Sri Lanka there is a vibrant LGBTI community here.”
Faces of Pride: Stévia Arthur || Barbados Pride

Faces of Pride: Stévia Arthur || Barbados Pride

“Together we are powerful, working together, we can improve our quality of life. Stand strong together, speak out against oppression, no matter the oppressor. Visibility is liberty and knowing we have the strength of an entire community behind us, makes it less scary to be visible.”
Faces of Pride: Tin & Linus || Hong Kong Pride

Faces of Pride: Tin & Linus || Hong Kong Pride

“The growth of HK Pride as an event, and to see how the crowd changes is pretty remarkable. At 2008 we had 1.000 participants and now in about 10 years time by 2017 we had 10.000 participants. Last year’s survey even showed there are about 18% straight people that came to support their queer friends and family, which is really a nice thing to see.”
Faces of Pride: Emiel Wijnberg || Maspalomas Winter Pride

Faces of Pride: Emiel Wijnberg || Maspalomas Winter Pride

“Gran Canaria and Maspalomas are one of Europe’s favourite LGTB destinations and is therefore the ideal place for our visitors to be who they are. But at the same time our tropical island is only few hundred kilometres away from countries on another continent where being who you are is neither allowed nor accepted.”