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Pride in London and Budapest

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Article by: hannahishome28 Art by: myrowx

The differences between the Budapest Pride march and the London Pride march are stark and the contrasts between attitudes towards the LGBTQ community in these two countries couldn’t be more different.

Pride marches are vibrant and powerful events that unite the LGBTQ+ community and its allies, serving as an opportunity to celebrate diversity, raise awareness, and promote equality. While both Budapest and London host Pride parades, these two cities have a lot of cultural and societal differences that influence the experiences and significance of their respective events. In this article, I will put a rainbow-coloured spotlight on the differences between the Budapest and London Pride marches, highlighting the unique challenges and triumphs encountered in each occurrence.

The historical and societal contexts in Budapest and London have shaped the development and significance of their Pride parades. London, known for its progressive stance on LGBTQ+ rights, has a long-standing tradition of celebrating diversity and inclusivity. The city’s first Pride event took place in 1972, making it one of the oldest in the world. London Pride has grown into a grand celebration that attracts tens of thousands of participants and spectators. The London Pride march  is one of the most celebrated events in the UK’s LGBTQ community calendar. The event has been running for 30 years now and has grown to become one of the largest LGBTQ events in the world. London Pride attracts visitors from every corner of Earth and has become an unmissable part of the city’s cultural calendar. It is a wondrous celebration of LGBTQ identity, where people from all walks of life come together to celebrate love, diversity, and acceptance. 

My first and only pride march in London was in 2017 when I was 9 years old. I remember it being amazing, the people were so nice! The company my dad works for is actually a huge sponsor of both the Budapest and London Pride marches so we got lots of pride-themed freebies like sunglasses, tote bags and jelly beans. There were so many people and fun trucks that escorted us along the way. I vividly remember there being some body painters and drag queens which we don’t see much of in Hungary. 

On the other hand, Budapest’s Pride parades emerged more recently, in 1997, long after the fall of communism in Hungary. Despite progress in LGBTQ+ rights over the years, the parade has faced challenges in a country where acceptance of the community remains uneven. Budapest Pride carries a profound significance as an act of resilience, striving to challenge prejudice and advocate for equal rights within a more conservative environment. The Budapest Pride march is an annual LGBTQ festival held in Budapest which is the capital city of Hungary. In this country, the government has made several laws in the past few years that could be described as homophobic. For example, in 2020 the country banned gender studies from being taught at universities, reasoning that we need to maintain “traditional family values.” Additionally, Hungary has also passed laws prohibiting same-sex couples from adopting children; non-binary isn’t legally recognised; and changing your gender is also illegal, surprise! To fight against all of this, the Budapest Pride march is an important event for Hungary’s LGBTQ community. It is an opportunity for the community to come together and celebrate their identities, to demand equality, and to protest against the government’s discriminatory laws. 

After attending some of these Hungarian marches I can say that it is fun but sometimes quite saddening. There are a bunch of anti-protestors on the way who try really hard to make us lose our happy spirit – but obviously, we don’t give in. For instance, one time we got egged, and last year there were some people dangling huge “gay is pedophile” posters off bridges. From my point of view, these parades are a very nice way for people to be themselves and I overall love them, and I’m really looking forward to going to this year’s one.

While both the Budapest and London Pride marches share the common goal of promoting LGBTQ+ rights and celebrating diversity, their distinct contexts shape the nature and significance of these events. London’s Pride parade thrives within a more progressive environment, encompassing larger scale celebrations and broader public support. In contrast, Budapest Pride emerges as a defiant. In conclusion, the differences between Budapest Pride and London Pride reflect the vast disparities in attitudes towards the LGBTQ community in these two societies. While Budapest Pride is a vital event for Hungary’s LGBTQ community, it is held in a country that is increasingly hostile towards their rights. In contrast, London Pride is a joyous celebration of LGBTQ identity, held in a country that has made significant strides towards LGBTQ acceptance and equality.

 (by hannahishome28 on twitter)

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