Gay Travel: First Pride Azores a Huge Success

Photo courtesy of Rui Soares

More then 2000 people participated in the first-ever Pride March and Festival Pride Azores on September 1, 2012 ” A tremendous success,” says Terry Costa, the president of the only LGBT organization on the Atlantic islands. The festival happened between August 28th and September 2 and featured a conference on the LGBT issues. Attendees included NYC Pride executive Chris Frederick, Portugal´s oldest activist António Serzedelo, and Azores activist on equality Judite Fernandes. Highlights of the festival were short film screenings, gay poetry readings, and a party showcasing performers after the March. The events happend at te Public Library and an artsy bar galery called Arco 8. The main event was the March and Festival at Portas do Mar, a fairly new area of Azores largest city of Ponta Delgada that is used to dock some of the worlds major cruise ships that pass by the picturesque island of São Miguel.

Find out more about the first Pride Azores after the jump…

The March was an incredible success with over 150 official participants and over 2000 spectators, many who joined in or started a paralel march in support on the sidewalks. “It was incredible to see this happen” adds Costa. “Because I had a megaphone, a lady approached me to ask which saint was the march about.” Azores is very rooted in Catholicism and rarely do you see people marching on the streets outside of religious festivals. “When I told her that it had nothing to do with a saint but was all about human rights for all citizens, including LGBT, she called her friend who was sitting at a café, grabbed her purse, and joined right in. It’s a moment that I will never forget.”

The organization Pride Azores will now continue it´s work on all 9 islands of the Azores, an autonomous region of Portugal, with workshops in schools, libraries, and other special events throughout the year supporting the over 20,000 citizens that are mostly in the closet. The Azores has a population of approximately 250,000, but there are many more Azoreans living in the areas of Toronto, Canada and California, USA, amongst other parts of the world.

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