Uwe, what do you think are the biggest challenges facing the LGBTI community in Europe right now?
The Pride movement is not subject to a homogeneous development in Europe. On the one hand, we have Prides who deal with the problem of organising a carbon-neutral event, others have grown so large that they fear that the core message will be lost. On the other hand, small Prides are fighting for funding and the entire south and east European region is subject to a strong shift to the right from the side of politics and beliefs.
How can the Pride movement help to combat these challenges?
Here I see cohesion and mutual support as the most important goal, as well as the development of a platform for political influence. It must be possible to involve more political and social opinion leaders and to take responsibility for them to take a clear stand for our rights and human rights in general.
What’s your biggest hope for Pride in 2020?
Most of all I hope to see the participation of as many different parts of society as possible, and in a respectful and appreciative cooperation. Unfortunately, a lot of energy and sometimes the goal itself is lost in the dispute between parts of the community or for minor matters. More cohesion must be developed again and the will to want to achieve something together must be put in the foreground.
Looking further ahead, how would you like to see Pride develop in the rest of the decade?
At the end of the decade, it would be great if a Pride was perceived as the human rights demonstration for everyone. Inclusion is the key word here. Equal rights and equal treatment for everyone must be our goal. We have to work on that and offer as many people as possible a platform for it. Pride must be a festival of freedom, tolerance and acceptance for everyone.
Which Pride(s) are you really looking forward to visiting in 2020 or beyond?
I am not finished yet with my plans, but in 2020 I intend to visit Prides in Karlsruhe, Stuttgart, Madrid, Munich, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Mannheim and Copenhagen and of course EuroPride in Thessaloniki. I’d like to visit an Italian, a Polish and a French Pride as well, if possible.
Finally, what’s your most cherished memory of a Pride from any time, anywhere in Europe?
Oh – there were really many moments, one of which was the participation of the EPOA and InterPride conference delegates in 2016 at the Pride in Montpellier, as it had been postponed to September because of the terrible attack in Nice that summer. Also the pride fireworks in Mannheim last year, the impressive WorldPride in Madrid 2017 or meeting Jonathan Blake, a leading LGBTI activist from the very beginning of the movement in the UK, at EuroPride 2019 in Vienna. I am very grateful to have experienced all of this.
Image: Uwe Hörner
Follow Uwe on Instagram @pygmalion65_.