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No March of Honor Planned this Year, Tbilisi Pride Says

By Natalia Kochiashvili
Wednesday, June 1, 2022
Pride Week Slated for June 28-July 2

Tbilisi Pride announces that the Pride Week will be held from June 28 to July 2, 2022. According to them, they will not be able to hold a ‘March of Honor’ this year.

Pride Week will consist of three primary events: The screening of a new Georgian queer movie. A story about homophobia, fight, and survival; Regional Conference which will bring together LGBTQ activists, from Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkey, and Belarus to discuss mutual geopolitical battles; A grand Pride Festival drawing together local and international artists.

According to the organization, they are determined to continue the fight for freedom, equality, love, visibility, dignity, and the return of seized voices, which is the fight against homophobia, hatred, Russian propaganda, and holders of immeasurable power, oppression, discrimination, and persecution.

“The tragic experience we encountered last year on July 5 uncovered a stagnant, violent and uncompassionate system that refuses to protect the rights of its citizens and excludes LGBTQ people from public space and public life. Lekso Lashkarava's life was taken as a result of an unprecedented attack on media on the basis of homophobia. We are still facing a government which encourages violent groups chasing people in the streets, does not punish those responsible for organizing violence, and does not acknowledge the equality of all citizens.”

The organization writes in the statement that this year they do not have any space and opportunity to hold a march of honor, in fact, they remain the only group deprived of the right to assemble and demonstrate. They remind us that their agenda still includes serious problems such as education, employment, access to health care, homelessness, legal non-recognition of gender, domestic violence, and discrimination. Tbilisi Pride believes that with vigorous fight and unconditional solidarity toward each other they will achieve the change this reality. One of the reasons for this hope is that acceptance of LGBTQ people is significantly increasing, though some try to convince us that the vast majority of the Georgian population is unsupportive.

“2022 will be the year of healing, recovery, solidarity, unity, support, acknowledgment of results achieved, and diversification and expansion of our strategies. At the same time, Pride Week will be loud, political, emotional, colorful, and will bring together everyone who believes in equality!”

Following the Tbilisi Pride announcement, members of the violent, homophobic and pro-Russian party Alt-Info said they would mobilize against this ‘provocation’ and that the organizers would not be able to hold any grand festival’.