Tbilisi Pride – Georgia
Tamaz Sozashvili is a human rights activist and one of the co-founders of the team that’s bringing Pride to Tbilisi in Georgia. He and a small group of hard-working volunteers are taking some serious risks to their safety to make this Pride happen. The main event will be a ‘March of Dignity’ on the final day.
On the Pulse of Pride
The very first Pride Parade was in 1970, in response to a riot at Stonewall, New York in 1969; the upcoming Tbilisi Pride is right on the pulse of the true meaning of Pride; civil action to create better rights for LGBTQ+ people. We asked some of the volunteers in Tbilisi what Pride means to them, here is what they had to say.
Meaning of Pride – Tamaz
‘Pride is one of the most effective tools queer people can use to show unity, solidarity, power, and to push the government to trigger positive changes for queer people in their society. Tbilisi Pride is more about the whole process for me, rather than just a one day March of Dignity. In our campaign videos, so many queer people have already come out for the first time ever, and started fighting for equality and freedom!’
‘Tbilisi Pride has already managed to mobilize so many queer people and allies as never before. We’ve shown the huge involvement and engagement of the queer community in this process, that is hard for me to believe! It makes me so proud to see many queer people joining the Tbilisi Pride volunteers’ team. In this process, we not only change society but empower each other!’ – Tamaz Sozashvili
Tamaz Sozashvili – Tbilisi Pride
Tbilisi Pride Further Details
If everything goes ahead as planned, there will be four Pride events held in Tbilisi:
- A production of Franz Kafka’s Transformation;
- An international conference on the situation of LGBT individuals in Georgia, and the policy of the authorities in this matter;
- A ‘March of Dignity’, which will be held on 23 June. The organization statement says, “It will not take the form of a holiday nor of a carnival because we are not in the mood for a celebration now.”
- A closed ‘Pride Party’ to end the week.
Is it Dangerous?
Meaning of Pride – Giorgi
‘Pride is a huge inspiration for me. I get charged emotionally every time I have an opportunity to enjoy my community and embrace its civic liberties.’
‘Tbilisi Pride is a major game-changer for me. The visibility and public discussions that have been going on in the past few months are the biggest achievements for me.’ – Giorgi Tabagari
IDAHOT or Not
On May 17th, IDAHOT is a global occasion to take action against homo-, bi-, and transphobia. Tamaz tells us that in Tbilisi, local LGBT activists also try to support IDAHOT, raising the visibility of gay people challenging hate and intolerance. The response of the local orthodox church in Tbilisi is to organize a Family Purity Day each year on May 17th, to counteract the visibility of IDAHOT in Georgia.
Meaning of Pride – Mariam
‘Pride is an outward expression of the processes that are going on in society as a whole, and the processes that are fueled by political will. But most of all, Pride is an outward expression through personal relationships and tolerant attitudes among family members, friends, and strangers in a given society.’
‘Tbilisi Pride can prove to be the victory of tolerance, compassion, and nonviolence. It is an opportunity to show the world that the citizens of Georgia are peaceful toward those who are different, and fair in their treatment of vulnerable groups and minorities.’ – Mariam Geladze
Love Pride Family
We send our love and support to Tamaz and his team. Let’s hope Tbilisi Pride 2019 is a success, and the people are allowed to celebrate Pride safely on the day. For more information, visit their Facebook page, and their Twitter account.
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