Town Hall flying LGBT flag to be “very symbolic moment” for Prague Pride

Prague Pride 2014, photo: Filip Jandourek

Final preparations are being made for the ninth edition of the Prague Pride festival. For the first time this year the LGBT rainbow flag will be flown at the city’s Town Hall during the week-long event, which culminates with a massive city centre parade on Saturday August 10. I discussed the theme of the 2019 Prague Pride, and more, with spokesperson Bohdana Rambousková.

Prague Pride | Photo: Filip Jandourek,  Czech Radio
“This year’s theme is Together Within Reach.

“We wanted to make a parallel to the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots and decided to stress one particular moment from the Stonewall riots, which is the visibility of the LGBT community.

“When we started thinking about it, we realised that 50 years later we still didn’t win the fight for the complete visibility of queer people in the Czech public space.

“There are still many same-sex couples who hesitate to hold hands in public, because they fear negative reactions, negative looks or remarks they might get in the street.

“So Czech LGBT people are not subject to any physical violence, but still the situation is not as good as it might be.

“We still need to fight for visibility, which was the issue for people who took part in the Stonewall riots 50 years ago.”

Obviously the big event is the parade on Saturday August 10. Otherwise, what will be some of the highlights of your programme?

“One of the highlights of the programme is of course the opening concert, which takes place on Monday on Střelecký ostrov.

“We will have really wonderful guests coming from abroad and coming from different generations.

“Because of the Stonewall anniversary, we wanted to address older generations as well, to come together, to take part and to come out of the closet.

Photo: Nathan Rupert,  CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
“So on stage we will have an 80-year-old DJ from Poland, we will have Czech grannies singing and we will have Daniela Sea, who is an American actress well-known from the legendary TV series The L Word.”

Prague Town Hall is going to be flying the rainbow flag during Pride for the first time. Also Petřín Tower is going to be lit up in the colours of the rainbow. What does that mean to organisation, to get that kind of support?

“We were kind of fighting for many years for the rainbow flag on the Town Hall.

“We were happy in previous years that the flag was already there, in the window, but it was not displayed by the mayor yet.

“So it’s a very symbolic moment for us that this year the mayor of Prague will officially, during an official ceremony, display the flag on the main balcony of the building.

“When we started the festival nine years ago it was very difficult to persuade people that the festival had its place in Czech society.

“The first step forward was that we got auspices from the mayor of Prague.

“Then the next step was that the previous mayor of Prague, Adriana Krnáčová, was actually the first mayor who personally came and led the parade.

Prague Pride,  photo: Klára Stejskalová
“So now this is another step to, let’s say, equality of LGBT people with the majority – that the flag will finally be displayed on the building.”

Under President Trump US embassies around the world have been barred from flying the rainbow flag. I know in the past the US Embassy in Prague has supported Prague Pride – will it be doing so this year in any way?

“Yes. The US Embassy has been our big ally from the beginning.

“And they are supporting Prague Pride festival this year as well.

“We will have the ambassador talking on stage at the opening concert.”