My reason to go to Pride
I go to Pride every year because if I don’t care about my rights enough or about my life even (sometimes, literally) to go out on the street and march for them, then I don’t deserve them.
I also go to Pride for those who cannot and who are not with us because as a community we’ve all gone out marching way too late and hate has got them before they saw equality…
The word “activist” has started sounding dirty but to me activism is always necessary.
If you see someone throw their cigarette butt on the ground instead of in the bin, then you make a remark. This is activism.
If someone parks in a disabled spot despite not being disabled or transporting someone who is, then you make a remark. This too is activism.
Activism is to shape your life as opposed to letting yourlife become the result of someone else’s actions. You don’t always get a say – but whether to come to Pride and say “I exist”, this at least you can do.
If you think you don’t need to come because you haven’t been beaten up so far for your secual orientation or gender identity, then I have these three points for you:
- I haven’t been beaten up for my pansexual orienation either. But I would like legal assurances that if the semi-literate dysfunctional skinheads do try something, then the bare fact that they attacked me FOR my sexual orientation will be extenuating circumstance as seen by the court of law. Just like it would be, were I from a different faith or ethnicity. This is a hate crime.
- When my partner and I get married, if they are hospitalised, then I should have access to medical information or, if needed, make a decision for them. Because I know what my partner would want. This can only be done by legal partners or relatives. As the law is now in Bulgaria, I am neither. I could have spent my whole life with them, to have built a home and one horrible day a car crash can take that person away while doctors are responsible (or even allowed) to tell me nothing. And I wouldn’t be able to fulfill my partner’s last wish.
- If we actually did decide to have children, it would be my biological child. If I die, this kid will go to a home instead of staying with their surviving parent who knows and loves it very much. You know what orphanages in Bulgaria are like. And if we decided to adopt a child, we cannot do it as a couple – only one of us would be a legal guardian. The child would, under these gruesome circumstances, once again have to go to the orphanage which we fought so hard to get It out from.
I was there at the first Pride in 2008, at the frontlines, when they threw the Molotov just meters away from my feet, I was also on the front page of “24 chasa”, the biggest newspaper in the country, the next morning. And I tell you from experience – there’s nothing scary about coming to Pride.
Since 2008 until its 10th edition last year things have changed drastically. Society accepts and understands the LGBTI community, we too accept each other more. From those 100 people back in 2008 we grew to over 3000 in 2017. And imagine how much more we can grow!
I write these words in the same day that the European court ruled that member states are obliged to recognise all marriages when issuing licenses for residency in the EU, including same-sex marriages Prides are part of the reason for this positive ruling: they give the so needed visibility of LGBTI people.
Pride shows that our rights are not – but they can and will be – equal.