Budapest Pride 2009


I should have written this post about 2 weeks ago ’cause we held the Budapest Pride March on September 5, but I think there are still some people who are interested in the topic and would like to read more about the event. I marched that day, so I can tell what I experienced personally.

First I have to refer to myself, earlier I wrote that even if it seems a highly debated topic, accepting gay people in Hungary is not a question. Intellectuals debate, ordinary people just pass over it in silence or offend members of the LGBT community. (I hate using this expression.) Those who should actually have attended the event, well, they weren’t there. Where were gay people? And who were those some 1000-1500 marchers walking down from Heroes’ Square to Deák Square on Andrássy Avenue? A friend of mine said at the beginning of the march: ‘Here who’s not hetero, that’s foreigner.’

Heterosexual people who doesn’t have to fear the direct anger of the conservative, and gay supporters from other countries participated the event. Of course I can’t tell if we really saw less gay than hetero marchers but I know that coming out is not très à la mode in Hungary. What would say a family which saw their child marching at the gay pride, holding the hand of somebody from the same gender? And that’s all on TV!


‘He/she is not our son/daughter anymore!’ – that’s what they would say.

Media presence was very active this year too, so I think I’m on loads of photos and videos that appeared in the media, so probably some far acquaintances put me down as lesbian. I have an out and proud gay friend who said he wouldn’t come to the pride march ’cause on one hand he was very afraid of counter-demonstrators, and on the other hand he had a rendez-vous with somebody. Both are very good arguments, actually.

We had counter-demonstrators, yeah. Loads. Police cordoned down the streets parallel with Andrássy because right wing organizations had announced in advance that they would rally. Finally, it was better like that even if we got knew only from the news that police had to use tear gas against them. We didn’t even see what they were doing because they were kept so far away and at the end of the event 3 separate metros came to Deák Square and took us to Blaha Lujza Square where everybody could ‘disappear’ somehow.

But how it began! That was funny… I arrived to the cordoned entrance, looking for a friend and when I got closer to him, I heard that a man in black jacket, wearing black glasses, hisses to him: ‘don’t film us, go back to your faggot friends!’ My friend is a video-journalist for Népszabadság and he recorded the crowd inside the fence where somehow this ‘element’ appeared. I was really scared, and couldn’t even believe that someone can pronounce a sentence like that with his own mouth and by that tone. We were wondering how could he come inside the fence if everybody was checked…


At the beginning of the march our former prime minister, Ferenc Gyurcsány and his wife, Klára Dobrev came and some (I swear) pensioners started to shout things like ‘Go away, Gyurcsány’ and such, the organizers and the participants weren’t elated because of his presence. Except him, we couldn’t see any politician (not even anybody from the Alliance of Free Democrats, a party that should support events like this), just intellectuals, writers, musicians, journalists etc.

Some say that most of the professional leaders of LGBT events had left the issue when some years ago they should have started to remove transgendered, especially crossdressers. If they didn’t appear in public, the whole gay issue could be acceptable for the society. That’s what some think, and that’s the tendency that the Budapest Pride’s following now. I also would leave the whole as it was, if I couldn’t fight for the rights of everybody. It’s so unfair.

That’s why the march was very moderate. Just two trucks playing music, few people (okay, compared to the 150 that I heard they had in Bucharest this year, it’s a lot), and who were there, those were mostly hetero, come on. What’s this?


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