Antwerp Pride celebrated its tenth anniversary from 9 until 13 August 2017. Antwerp Pride is a festival for and of the LGBTQ community but the entire city is welcome to join in the fun. This year’s festive and – as usual – colourful pride focused on the past, present and future. What started out in 2007 as a small party with a select group of people has become an inclusive urban festival.
A conference on diversity, a Queer Arts Festival and exuberant parties, during the day and at night. This year’s jubilee edition of Antwerp Pride was bigger and better than ever. A record number of 62 walking or driving delegations participated in this year’s parade, including LGBTQ associations, the local police of Antwerp, the University of Antwerp, representatives of several political parties, companies and civil society organisations. For the first time ever, representatives of a few professional sport clubs also walked behind the rainbow flag. Their aim was to break the homosexual taboo in the world of elite sports. The activities drew 130,000 people from around the world.
Antwerp is ranked highly on the list of gay-friendly cities in the world. The city has already hosted several high-profile LGBTQ events such as the World Outgames, the EuroGames or the annual convention of the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association in 2010. The city’s large LGBTQ movement – which has joined forces in the not-for-profit association Het Roze Huis – and the fact that same-sex couples can marry (since 2003) and adopt children (since 2006) have helped create an LGBTQ friendly climate in Antwerp and Belgium.
Antwerp likes to highlight its gay-friendly attitude in every way possible. That is why three crosswalks were painted in rainbow colours in the city centre and more will probably follow. The idea is to draw attention to the rights of LGBTQ people.
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