Report showcases resilience of global LGBTIQ Pride movement


Johannesburg Pride is Africa’s oldest Pride event (Photo: Ziyanda Yono)

Outright International has released its latest Pride Around the World Report which examines Pride events within LGBTIQ communities worldwide.

This comprehensive report, highlights the resilience, persistence, and resistance of these movements in the face of armed conflict, repression, and discrimination.

Based on 35 semi-structured interviews as well as survey responses from 142 activists in 52 countries, it finds that Pride has many meanings to those who participate in it; these include protest, social inclusion, a celebration of progress, and visibility.

The report reveals that Pride events were held in 105 countries in 2022, with 63 of those countries’ events extending beyond their capital cities.

From Ukraine, where activists persist despite prolonged Russian aggression, to Namibia, where incremental legal reforms are taking place. From Sri Lanka, where the inaugural Pride march emerged from a foundation of protest, to Malta, where the government actively collaborates with LGBTIQ communities to expand Pride beyond the main island.

Throughout these diverse landscapes, activists tackle challenges such as criminalisation, lack of legal gender recognition, the invisibility of intersex and queer women, and other forms of social and legal discrimination.

Neela Ghoshal, Director of Law, Policy, and Research at Outright International, emphasised the grassroots nature of social justice activism. “Human rights activists worldwide have long insisted that for meaningful change to take place, you don’t sit back and wait for governments to give you rights. Instead, you demand and claim those rights,” says Ghoshal.

“Pride is the perfect example of activists building social justice from the ground up, demanding recognition of their very existence, a demand that persists even where Pride looks more like a celebration than a protest.”

Remarkably, the report showcases the resilience of Pride even in countries where same-sex intimacy remains criminalised, such as Jamaica and Sri Lanka. It also highlights the unwavering determination of LGBTIQ activists in Türkiye, who continue to challenge government crackdowns on Pride despite facing a record number of arrests in 2022.

Furthermore, the report provides a special focus on marginalised groups historically underrepresented in Pride events, including intersex people, trans people, and LBQ women.

Ohotuowo Ogbeche, Global Researcher at Outright International, remarked on the ongoing resilience of LGBTIQ communities: “Every year we see increased attempts at cracking down on LGBTIQ rights globally, and every year in response, LGBTIQ people show up to provide safe spaces, community, collective care, and raise awareness about LGBTIQ people’s needs.”

Outright International says it hopes the report will help equip activists with tools to combat repression and support their endeavours in organising Pride events.

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