Pride Week starts with a concert
A diverse group of musicians and some speakers opened a week of LGBT events
Prague Pride started its week of events with an open-air concert on Aug. 8, highlighted by performances from Adam Mišík and Jitka Zelenková. Several speakers including Omar Sharif Jr and US Ambassador Andrew H. Schapiro (picture), both of whom pointed out that a lot of progress on LGBT rights has been made, but that there was still a long way to go, as shown by the recent shooting incident in Orlando, Florida, that left 49 dead and 53 injured at an LGBT nightclub.
“The US Embassy has been proud to sponsor the Pride Festival every year since it began,” Schapiro said. “We have seen tremendous progress over the last five years and this is now the largest festival of its kind in all of Central Europe,” he said.
After recounting the incident in Orlando he pointed out the value of Pride events. “In the fight against hate and intolerance, love is our best weapon, because love is stronger than hate. Events like Prague Pride are important because they can show the power of love. And I want to celebrate that power,” he said.
The Glorietta, a small but highly visible pavilion on the US Embassy grounds, is being lit up in rainbow colors for the week of the Pride Festival as a sign of solidarity. Schapiro said he hoped people would find hope and inspiration in the symbol.
Omar Sharif Jr is the grandson of the famous actor and one of very few people form the Middle East to be openly gay. “Prague is one of my favorite cities in the world with some of my favorite men in the world, and women” Sharif said. “Pride is something that is so special and that is so often taken for granted. It is a celebration of love, not only for each other but also for ourselves,” he said before turning to his own story.
“Growing up in Egypt was very difficult. I wasn't able to live openly, authentically or happily even if I came from one of the most famous families, even if I was well-known and even if the country loved me,” he said. “So in 2012 I decided there were so many people without a voice, that weren't able to express themselves, that weren't able to love themselves, that weren't able to live openly and proudly so I came out publicly and I was the first public figure in the Middle East to come out openly as gay,” he said. “There are so many people around the world who still live in fear and in oppression.”
He said he was faced with death threats and intimidation after he came out, and had to move to America as a refugee to be able to live openly and authentically. “I was lucky to be able to do that,” he said, adding that he attended his first Pride in New York. He said he looks forward to doing the same things in Prague, which he called a progressive city in a tolerant country.
He also recounted the events in Orlando and added that the rates of LGBT youth homelessness and suicide have remained stagnant.
“And we still don't have full marriage equality right here in the Czech Republic,” he said. “So while Pride is a time to celebrate and be proud, it is also a time to reflect on all that we have to accomplish here, at home, and abroad around the world, at places in the Middle East where I come from, and even in America,” he said.
“This week we are going to march in pride, we are going to march with love but we are also going to march with purpose for all those around the world who cannot march, who cannot speak, who do not have a voice, we are going to march for them. We are going to be proud, visible, open, tolerant and happy,” he said.
The evening closed with Jitka Zelenková sing a Czech version of the 1980s hit “I Want To Know What Love Is,” with Czech lyrics that translate to “without love there is no love; we are all the same.” She followed it up with two disco-style songs. Zelenková's career dates back to the late 1970s.
Before that, current pop star Adam Mišík sang a full set of his own hits, capped off by covers of the Miley Cyrus hit “Wrecking Ball” and the Maroon 5 song “She Will Be Loved.”
The concert began with Jan Bendig, who brought several guest on stage including a backing singer in a nun costume. He was followed by alternative heavy metal band Vladivojsko.
Video on YouTube
Pride Voices presents several tones of the rainbow by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV
Six people discussed their experiences and lives as members of the LGBT community worldwide
Prague Pride week starts Aug. 8 by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV
The Pride Parade will be Aug. 13 and follow the same route as last year to Letná
Prague Pride 2016 Supporting Equal Right to Love by Prague Pride - Prague.TV (Foto: Eva Kořínková)
We All Have the Gift of Loving
Conchita Wurst will open Prague Pride 2015 by Prague Pride - Prague.TV
Prague Pride 10 August till Sunday 16 August 2015
Prague Pride 2015: ‘We all have a rainbow inside’ by Prague Pride - Prague.TV
Prague Pride 10 August till Sunday 16 August 2015
Prague Pride 2015 will celebrate fifth anniversary by Prague Pride
There is enough reason to celebrate this year ...
The city’s LGBT community celebrates the fourth annual Prague Pride by Prague.TV Helen Armitage
Prague Pride returns to the city for the fourth time this August with a brand new theme
Prague Pride 2014 to support gays and lesbians from the East by Prague Pride
The 4th edition of the Prague Pride festival will take place from August 11 till August 17
Prague Pride 2013 returns with a cutting edge program focusing on Coming Out by Prague Pride
Nearly a hundred events constitute the program of the Prague Pride festival
Prague Pride Confirms Its Status As Best Central & Eastern European Pride by Prague Pride
Pragu Pride 2013 will be held from 12th to 18th August
Petra Měchurová Hair Salon right in the historical center...
Kids Indoor Playground in Prague 5, OC Zlicin
Stag Parties & Fun Events in Prague
27 taps with excellent craft beers and ciders in the center...
MQFF Mezipatra c/o PRODIMO
Prague LGBTQ christians
LGBT sport club in Prague
Charlie, a Czech non-profit LGBT association