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Prague Pride 2014 offers 100+ events and support for the LGBT community in Eastern Europe

Prague, 12.8.2014 20:54, (ROMEA)
The poster for Prague Pride 2014 reads
The poster for Prague Pride 2014 reads "Rise up against homophobia".

A total of 117 cultural, social and sports events are featured on the program of the Fourth Annual Prague Pride festival, which focuses on the topic of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues between 11 and 17 August 2014 (the full program is here). Organizers have decided to invite gays and lesbians from Eastern European countries whose rights are being suppressed, either by the regime or by conservatism in society, to participate by proxy in the parade.

Through the website, LGBT people can designate an "Avatar" to represent them in the Prague parade. Photos, videos and messages will be shared with them in real time from the crowd through a mobile phone application.

"In Moscow, parades by gays and lesbians have been banned until the year 2112. In Ukraine the Pride parade ultimately was not held last year and in Hungary the parade takes place only on streets that have been cleared out and closed off for fear of attacks," said Czeslaw Walek, chair of Prague Pride.

The biggest star of this year's festival is without a doubt the band Pet Shop Boys, who will perform on 13 August at the Forum Karlín. The New York band Betty, famous from the legendary television serial about lesbians, "L Word", was scheduled to play at the official launch of Prague Pride at the Containall venue.  

Czech television viewers might know the series under the name "Love is Love" (Láska je láska) on Prima TV. Many other world-renowned celebrities from the fields of culture and politics are also coming to Prague for a special evening during the festival, which is called "Pride Voices".

Audiences can look forward hearing from Boris Ditrich, who as an MP in Holland put forward a law on marriage equality there; the Moscow journalist and LGBT activist Olga Kurachyova; the London journalist Benjamin Cohen; Amnesty International's campaign coordinator for Ukraine, Zoryan Kiss; one of Vietnam's leading photographers, Maika Elan; the American businessman and LGBT activist Charlie Rounds; and Polish artist Karol Radziszewski. The festival culminates every year in a parade through the historic center of Prague.

On Saturday, 16 August, participants will gather under the statue of St. Václav on Wenceslas Square and at 13:00 will set out down Na příkopě and Revoluční Streets to Řásnovka and Dvořákovo nábřeží, across the Čechův most Bridge and up the stairs to the Letná Plain. Organizers expect a minimum of 20 000 people to march in the parade, just like last year. 

bau, Prague Pride press release, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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