Why we still need Pride in Georgia
There is a huge LGBTQ community here in Georgia. Just entering a place like Fabrika, you’ll see rainbow-clad groups of people, and words of solidarity from allies in the form of stickers and posters. There are many places, especially in Tbilisi, that support this community and welcome them with open arms. But that isn’t the case everywhere. Being visibility LGBTQ in Georgia can land you in trouble.
Has Georgia ever had a Pride festival or march?
Yes and no. In the summer of 2021, there was Tbilisi’s first-ever Pride festival. It had live music, food, and drink (of course) and for the most part, people kept safe and had a lot of fun. But there were still many people there, purely to protest our existence.
We were due to have a Pride march through Tbilisi after the festival. To counteract our celebration of love, some people decided to join protests against the Pride march. They got violent. So violent that it led to Alexander Lashkarava, a cameraman covering the events, being dragged through the city streets. He died just a few days later.
Why do we need Pride?
The example mentioned above is reason enough to prove that we need solidarity from allies here in Georgia.
But there are plenty more reasons, too.
- Being queer is still illegal in 69 countries.
- Gay conversion therapy is still legal in many countries.
- Trans people are four times more likely to be victims of violent crime than others.
- some children and teens’d become homeless if they came out.
How can I support the LGBTQ+ community?
The best thing you can do is show you’re an ally by being a good friend to the LGBTQ people in your life. Prove to them that you accept them and don’t judge them.
Do your homework. Reading this is a good start. Ask people from the community for recommendations of books or websites to read to get better educated.
Share activist content. You can share this blog to your Instagram story, or share content from voices within the community.
Speak up when you see homophobia. Make people realize that hate speech will not be tolerated. But make sure you do this in a safe environment. In some cases, it’s best to call the police.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. We wish you a very happy Pride month. If you are part of the community, feel free to leave a comment about your experience with pride month in Georgia.
Lots of love,