“It reminds us we still have some things to fight for”: Prague Pride to kick off on Monday
Prague’s annual Pride festival is set to begin on Monday, running one week of events and festivities that celebrate queer culture and underscore the importance of continuing to push for full gender and racial equity in Czechia. I spoke with Kateřina Šilhová, one of the event's coordinators, about what’s in store this year.
“I would say that Pride is still relevant and important because it reminds us about where we stand as queer people in society, so activism is certainly still part of the festival. It’s all about visibility, and of course reminds us that queer and LGBTQ+ people do not have some important rights here in the Czech Republic.
"So I would say Pride is an important event not only to make the lives of LBGTQ+ better, but it’s also about making everyone’s lives better, because equal rights make the living situation in the whole society better.
"Even though we can see some improvements in Prague and in the Czech Republic in the legal aspects of queer life, rights are still not equal, and Pride is here to remind us that we still have some things to fight for, and we can get together to celebrate queer culture.”
For those of our listeners who may not know where equal rights are lacking for queer and LGBTQ+ people here in Czechia, where are the gaps in equality?
“The big discussion we are still having is about same sex marriage, we still don’t have equal rights. It’s now a current discussion we are having because the law is being discussed in our government.
"Also in terms of Trans rights, we are quite behind in the Czech Republic, because in order to change your documentation you still need to undergo an operation, so these are the things we are still lacking in the Czech Republic.”
In terms of improvement, perhaps on a societal level here in Czechia, are there any indications it is getting more inclusive?
“I think it is improving and that is largely due to the visibility and representation, but especially in mainstream media, there is still a long journey ahead. But overall, the climate around accepting minorities is getting much better.”
What’s in store for this year’s Pride festival in Prague?
“This year we have 190 events in store, nine official venues, and you can visit over 40 places where we are hosting Pride events. We have a very interesting theme this year, which is tradition.
"In the Czech Republic, you often hear this argument that LGBTQ+ people are not traditional, that queer families are not traditional, so we are trying to deconstruct this idea, and show that queer culture is also traditional. In all nine venues we have a program that reflects this theme.”