Gearing up for Belgian Gay Pride

GSN checks in on preparations for the 2013 LGBT pride celebrations in Brussels

The politics of Belgium are fascinating and ever-changing, but one constant appears to be a commitment to supporting the country’s LGBT community.

On Saturday (18 May), Brussels will be taken over by its annual LGBT Pride celebrations.

I was in Brussels on a flying visit but managed to catch up for dinner with Alan De Bruyne and Frederick Boutry who are employed by the city to coordinate and promote the Pride festivities and LGBT tourism.

We met for dinner at restaurant CO2 on Rue du Page, uptown in the lively Chatelain district.

De Bruyne and Boutry are somewhat of an odd combination, but clearly an effective team. De Bruyne is Flemish – tall, fair, with curly hair and a strong social conscience; Boutry is originally from the Basque region – smaller, excitable, a natural networker with a wicked sense of humor.

With only three days to go until the pride celebrations kicked off, both De Bruyne and Boutry seemed remarkably composed.

‘This is my fourth year of organizing Pride’ explained De Bruyne, ‘each year it gets easier, each year it gets better. Last year we had a particularly good turn out.’

‘Because someone was killed’ chips in Boutry.

De Bruyne must have seen the concerned look on my face: ‘There was a homophobic attack in Belgium not long before the Pride celebrations last year – it meant that we saw a lot more people attending and supporting.’

I was interested as to what would make the 2013 bigger and better than previous years: ‘It’s too late to kill anyone…’ suggested Boutry wryly.

De Bruyne quickly countered: ‘We will deliver another very good event – each year word-of-mouth reports encourage more and more people to attend.’

by Gareth Johnson
Source – Gay Star News