Belgian Pride Online
In 2021, due to government regulation linked to the COVID-19 health crisis, The Belgian Pride went online for the first time ever!
During the whole month of May, three online parties and one panel were livestreamed to keep the Pride spirit alive during Pride Month. A Symbolic Pride also took place on 22 May, to mark the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia, Interphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT).
The emphasis was put on LGBTI+-owned venues to host these events. The first one was hosted at The Crazy Circle, the second at STAMM Bar, and the third at Cabaret Mademoiselle. These three venues are landmarks for the LGBTI+ community, hotspots of the HORECA were the community usually gathers.
The Lesbian Queer Feminist bar in Brussels. Live music, Cabaret, Karao-queer, Open Mic, Quiz, Boardgames, Rainbow-Kicker, Meetups, "Femme Jam", Viewing Parties, DJ set,... Beers, Cocktails and Fingerfood.
A neat industrial atmosphere. A cosy and warm setting to cultivate the paradox of contrasting atmospheres between day bar and cruising spot.
And for the programming, the emphasis was also put on LGBTI+ artists and performers. We had the pleasures of hearing the voices of three spoken word artists, Camille Pier, Inke Gieghase, and Kopano Maroga. We also had DJ sets from Brussels-based talents like Thom Leblanc, DJ Aaguilaa, Red D, Mona Lee, and Rokia Bamba. And finally, the amazing cast of Cabaret Mademoiselle performed a two hour show of drag and burlesque heavenly performances.
Watch the videos of the online parties!
The festival also gave a platform to LGBTI+ organisations working around the theme of the year, #WeCare and the physical, mental, and social health of the LGBTI+ community. The panel featured Stephen Barris (Coordinator of Ex Aequo), Lucie Allo (Head of the Sex & Co project from the Laique federation of family planning centers), and Mark Sergeant (Policy worker MSM at Sensoa), and was moderated by Rachael Moore (Coordinator of The Belgian Pride). The panel was hosted by the iconic music venue Ancienne Belgique (AB).
The Symbolic Pride
On what was supposed to be our big Pride Day, May 22nd, a small reception was organised at Brussels’s City Hall, who featured speeches from Philippe Close (Mayor of Brussels), Tom Devroye (Coordinator of Arc-En-Ciel Wallonie), Eef Heylighen (çavaria), Jean-François Cannot (RainbowHouse Brussels), Laurent Mallet (The Belgian Pride) and Rachael Moore (The Belgian Pride). The ceremony ended with a gorgeous performance of La Diva!
The volunteers also bravely layed out onto Grand Place the giant rainbow flag that usually opens our Pride Parade. Even under the pouring rain, they didn’t quiver! The flag was also brought to the iconic Manneken Pis, wearing for the occasion its traditional Jean-Paul Gautier outfit and a rainbow mask.
The Technical Crew
In order to execute a perfect livestream experience, The Belgian Pride called up two production companies who helped deliver our vision. Warm thanks are due to our partners Slash 9 productions and VCL productions.
Warm thanks also go to our volunteers who helped this online experience become real!
Brussels is putting on its rainbow colours! Every year in May, during Pride month, Brussels will be immersed in rainbow colors for the RainbowCity Project. Click here to join several initiatives within this project that spread the message of diversity, inclusion and solidarity.
For 2021, the Belgian Pride has decided to stay focused on #WeCare, where draw attention to the many challenges that need to be addressed. Together, let’s improve the health of LGBTI+ people in all its aspects!