From an LGBTQIA+ perspective, one of the big events on the calendar is EuroPride – taking place in Belgrade, 12-18 September.
EuroPride is unique opportunity for LGBTQIA+ people across Europe to come together to not only to demonstrate support for people in Serbia, but also to highlight the numerous challenges that our community is facing across the European Union and beyond.
Pride events are a great opportunity to celebrate and have fun, but – as EuroPride reminds us – Pride is a protest, an unavoidably political event – the radical resistance of simply existing, being visible, and taking up space.
While there have been significant advances in the equality journey of LGBTQIA+ people in Europe, challenges still remain.
LGBTQIA+ people across Europe continue to encounter day-to-day discrimination and abuse:
- 61% of LGBTI people avoid holding hands in public.
- 37% of LGBTI people feel that they are being discriminated against.
- 11% of LGBTI people have been assaulted physically or sexually in the last 5 years. This rises for Trans people and Intersex people. Only 1 in 5 of these incidents has been officially reported.
- These results show that there has been only limited progress on these issues.
Source: EU LGBTI 2 Survey, FRA (2019)
Additionally, the experience of LGBTQIA+ people varies considerably from country to country. We can no longer accept that the lottery of your place of birth determines your experience of queer life.
Ten of Europe’s leading LGBTQIA+ media publications have joined forces to amplify the concerns and visibility of our community and to tackle the underlying issues. ELMA is the European LGBTIA+ Media Association, and EuroPride is a key point of focus for the organisation.
“We are all living in uncertain times, but it’s clear that Europe’s LGBTQIA+ community is particularly vulnerable to health inequality, economic hardship, and the worrying rise in homophobia, lesbophobia, biphobia and transphobia…” explains Giannis Papagiannopoulos. “ELMA gives us a clear statement of intent that Europe’s LGBTQIA+ community demands to be heard and is united against homophobia, lesbophobia, transphobia and biphobia in all its forms.”
Papagiannopoulos is the co-founder of Antivirus – the only LGBTQIA+ publication in Greece. He’s also the president of ELMA.
In addition to supporting EuroPride, the members of ELMA are collaborating on a range of journalistic projects – amplifying the stories of Europe’s LGBTQIA people and sharing those stories with media outlets around the world.
“One of our first actions is to demonstrate the economic and political power of our European LGBTQIA+ community…” added Papagiannopoulos. “We’re leveraging the audience reach of the publications within ELMA to undertake a major survey of LGBTQIA+ people. This is an ongoing process – giving everyone a voice and enabling us to focus on and elevate the things that really matter to LGBTQIA+ people in Europe.”
ELMA’s survey of LGBTQIA+ people is being conducted in partnership with Visit.Brussels and VO Citizen. The support of Visit.Brussels has enabled ELMA to create a media hub in Brussels to facilitate close cooperation with the various bodies within the European Commission.
The collection phase of the survey has now been completed, with results expected to be announced as part of events at EuroPride.
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