Vienna, Jun 11 (EFE).- The streets of Vienna were again decked out in the colors of the rainbow on Saturday in a march for diversity and equal rights, after last year’s event was canceled due to Covid-19.
“Pride against hate: make love, not war” was the motto of the parade in the Austrian capital, marked by the Russian invasion of Ukraine and concern for LGBTQ+ people displaced to Poland, a country with a patchy record when it comes to gay rights.
“This year’s parade stands as Austria’s biggest demonstration for everything Putin hates: diversity, respect and human rights,” Ann-Sophie Otte, president of the Homosexual Initiative (HOSI) Vienna, said in a statement.
The founder of the You Ukraine organization, Daria Dalichuk, told Efe that displaced Ukrainians are only looking to share the same European values and that “that’s why people are starting to be more open and honest with themselves about their sexual orientation.”
Adam Wierzbicki, a Polish student living in Vienna, hopes that such mobilizations will help open the eyes of neighboring countries, such as Poland.
“These people live in war and want to live a normal life, so hopefully this can have a positive impact on Poland, which is not totally acceptable and tolerant,” he said.
Those words were backed by dozens of Ukrainian demonstrators, who waved their country’s flags while enjoying music and dancing with the rest of the participants.
Since June 1, the city has been going all out for the LGBTQ+ community, decorating its landmark buildings and transportation with rainbow flags, organizing activities in museums, lectures and film screenings. EFE