HUNDREDS joined the Chief Minister and other top Gibraltar leaders at Casemates Square to celebrate Pride with the local LGBTQ+ community.
In one of the most well-attended events of the Pride event in local history, ministers from the Government agreed with leaders of the Opposition about the need to reject homophobia and social marginalisation of minority groups.
They adopted the message of ‘acceptance, not tolerance’ of LGBTQ+ people suggesting that Gibraltar should try its level best to beat the haters and accept same-sex relations were here to stay.
Chief Minister Fabian Picardo said he wanted to help people ‘express themselves freely’ in the face of a small minority.
Minister for Equality Samantha Sacramento said she liked the ‘good use of imagination and colour’ at the Pride event.
“This reflects Gibraltar’s multi-cultural and inclusive society and shows us to be an open and free society,” she said.
Chairperson of the LGBTQ+ Committee Lorraine Olivera reminded the public that a sexual identity was not a choice.
“We are not here because we choose to have a difficult life, because we choose to be ridiculed, because we choose to suffer hate speech,” Olivera said.
“We are all different but we are all equal if we have that same equal playing field.
“That is what we want.”
And Picardo turned the tables on ‘some online comments from a minority’, after looking at social media posts.
“This shows why Pride month is still required,” the progressive leader said.
“We need to remind some people that the LGBTQ+ community exists and are welcome to be themselves.
“Our aim has always been to enable individuals in our society to express themselves freely and show affection without fear of any recrimination,” he added.
After the speeches, the parade wound its way down Main Street with a huge rainbow flag borrowed from neighbouring Spain.
Then, international music and dance acts took centre stage for the rest of the night.
The visiting entertainers spoke of the unique atmosphere at the Gibraltar Pride.
Singer Cheryl Hole told GBC how she loved ‘the sense of community’ and how ‘it’s been incredible to be part of such a special day’.
The LBTQ+ Committee thanked all politicians for their ‘amazing support’ and said plans were already in place for 2024 Pride.
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