Just like millions around the world, LGBT+ people in Bulgaria were getting ready to celebrate Pride month in June 2021. For the first time since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, they wanted to celebrate on the streets of their capital Sofia with a peaceful march.
But their plans were in danger: Ultra-nationalist groups had launched a series of attacks on all Pride events in the country. They tried to use their attacks on Pride events as a show of “strength” before the upcoming elections. Their hope was to deter people from attending Pride by causing trouble.
Sofia Pride was scheduled for June 12, and was supposed to be the highlight of a week of Pride events. But with more attacks announced, the LGBT+ community was getting increasingly scared of participating in any public gathering.
But Sofia Pride organizers decided to hold their ground and push back against the aggression.
They started a petition, urging the Ministry of Interior to publicly condemn any acts of violence, especially by members of the government, and to keep the Pride events safe.
To make sure that their voices were heard, they guerilla projected a rainbow on the national parliament in Sofia, and added to the inscription: “Unity makes us strong” the words “Hate makes us weak.”
And it worked! With pressure from more than 17,800 voices of All Out members the organizers were heard.
On 12th June, 10,000 people gathered for the 14th Sofia Pride in Bulgaria’s capital - more people than ever before. Police made sure that the counter-protesters could not get to the march and that participants stayed safe.
If you want to start a petition for LGBT+ rights, click here and get started!