What the second LGBTI Pride feels like for Portuguese in Braga

Portugal’s third-largest city gears up for its second Gay Pride parade. Have things changed since last year?

While some cities are celebrating decades of Gay Pride parades and parties this June, others are only just embarking on their pride parade journey.

Pride organizer Janison Horácio, a Brazilian native fighting for LGBTI rights in Portugal, paints a picture of what the northwestern city of Braga is like now that they’ve had their first Gay Pride.

‘This year we are more organized, with the hope we get noticed more.’

Last year’s inaugural Gay Pride was the impetus to start the city’s first LGBTI rights group: Braga Fora do Armário (Braga Out of the Closet).

According to Horácio, half of the group’s members are gay, lesbian and bisexual, and the other half are heterosexual, signifying an important shift in the mind-set of some locals.

‘Braga is very Catholic and religious, so [LGBTI] people are afraid of comments and the way other people are going to look at them.

‘It’s so hard, to see gay guys or lesbians kissing partners in front of other people. I’ve never seen gay or lesbian couples holding hands.’

This year’s festival takes place from April, with movie screenings and political assemblies, to 14 June where the parade themed For The Rainbow Families takes over the streets of Braga.

Sure to raise eyebrows and make headlines, this year’s Pride parade is meant as an inclusive affair, where the local LGBTI community and allies can unite to celebrate diversity in Braga.

Horácio told Gay Star News that last year’s Gay Pride was to be ‘the first of thousands’.

‘What else do you do after a Gay Pride parade? Keep fighting for LGBTI rights.’

To stay abreast of Braga Pride, follow their Facebook page, and check out some photos from last year’s Gay Pride parade.

Check out Gay Star Travel Facebook and Twitter for more photos and info on Portugal and Gay Prides around the world.

by Jean Paul Zapata
Source – Gay Star News