It was so hot this year, the temperatures rising to about 35 degrees Celsius, but that never stopped the people from joining in a record number of 2 500. Bucharest Pride had it all, you name it: music, rainbows, balloons, happy faces, glitter, love signs and banners, young and elder together, solidarity, it was really something beautiful! Amazingly good energy!
The breakthrough of this year was Andreea Balan, a young pop star whose songs I basically grew up with, that decided to SHOW UP and SUPPORT the movement. You may not understand how powerful that is, but let me put it brief: in the conservative orthodox influenced culture of Romania this has never happened before. Ever. No artist has ever endorsed the event, none has recognized their diverse public or stood up to fight for equal rights for them. Many were escaping to face the crowds of the ‘other Romania’, the ones who consider the parade to be one of ‘sickness’.
But Andreea? Andreea is an amazing human being who decided to use her fame to do good. Her act is a stepping stone in the direction of enabling the LGBT community to speak up and demand equal rights. More than that, she has posted a wonderful message on her Facebook and she is constantly responding to all people out there who are trying to set things ‘straight’. Her follow up comments are disarming with kindness, understanding and sharing of LOVE. She reinforced the idea that all humans should be entitled to having a family and that to love and be loved should be accessible to all. Her gesture should be seen as an example to all other artists and public persons of Romania.
Other important names that joined the parade this year: Michael Roth, Minister of State for Europe at the German Federal Foreign Office, Carla Antonelli, a noted LGBT rights activist and politician who maintains a large support website for transgender and transsexual people, also the first trans person to serve in a legislature in Spain (she had such a powerful speech and sent a lot of energy to the crowd), Great Britain’s ambassador to Romania, Paul Brummell, Deputy Chief of Mission at the embassy of US to Bucharest, Dean Thompson, and last but not least, our very own Minister for Public Consultation and Civic Dialogue, Violeta Alexandru.
Happy to see so many people attending the event. Happy to share the joy with so many open-minded countrymen and friends. Happy, happy, happy.
I can only wish that things will only get better from now on. Last year I saw the Stockholm Pride in late July and it made me realize how much further we have to walk, so keep it up! I feel we have reached a breaking point on Saturday. Everything was perfectly organized, we all had been given water, the street was full of people, the police supervised from every few meters, the music was energetic and fun, we had a blast!