Were you planning to all come to the Brussels Gay Pride this year? I wish you luck because there might not be a Pride Parade through the center of town at all. The organizers are going backwards upside down. Some websites even broadcasted the message that the organizing committee is financially bankrupt.
Well, we’re used to those kinds of newsflashes in Belgium. It’s the same in Belgian politics: whenever Flemish and Wallonian have to work together on something, it’s bound to fail miserably, that much is sure.
So nobody should be surprised at the news that the organization is basically bankrupt. It’s a known fact that the Flemish and Wallonian gay & lesbian groups in Belgium could drink each other’s blood. In one of my previous columns I already testified of the squabbles over the date of Pride this year. They reached a decision at such a late date that the Brussels police only had one option available: the day of the Eurovision Song contest. All the other Saturdays the police had their hands full with other events already.
The scenario I sketched then: a separate Flemish Gay Pride in Antwerp and a Wallonian one in Liege, seems not too exotic now, does it? Year after year the Flemish gays’ voices aren’t heard in the committee. As in politics arrogant Wallonians often succeed in getting the upper hand when it comes to organizing Pride.
TV Brussels, in Dutch, showed one of the board members saying: “Only one out of three Belgian gays has lost faith in the gay parade through Brussels.” It made me suspicious however: if you come up with such figures you must have contemplated canceling the parade yourself. And than quickly do a poll...
The outcome of which is easily manipulated (as I’ve explained in another column as well), so I’d like to know who polled what, and when, and where please. I’ve never heard anyone cry for a Belgian parade, ever. We all go to Paris, London, Barcelona, etc., don’t we? Cause those are really proud!
The last five years Brussels Pride has been shrinking and shrinking. The miserable performance of last year with half of the trucks hijacked by political parties hyping the elections does not call for an encore. I have better things to do on a Saturday afternoon.
So I say it again, lest to be misunderstood: abolish Pride for a couple of years. We need the time to clean out the rubbish clogging everything up. Or indeed, organize an Antwerp Pride next year... without the Belgian Lesbian & Gay Pride. I’m sure it would attract a bigger crowd and I don’t think our Wallonian neighbors will boycott it. Come on, if there’s enough eye-candy around they will find their way to the spectacle. Curiosity kills the cat, right?