Bulgaria’s Embattled LGBT Community Eyes Calmer Celebration This Year

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06/17/2022

Sofia Pride marks its 15th edition this week with various activities, including exhibitions, film screenings and, on Saturday June 18, an open-air concert featuring some of the best-known local performers followed by a march for equal rights. That wasn’t always the case: at the first Sofia Pride, in 2007, the tiny crowd was physically attacked, and over the next few years, every Pride caused tense public debates. “The annual Pride celebration in Sofia is routinely attacked by nationalist groups,” the 2021 report on Bulgaria by Freedom House watchdog wrote. As of 2022, the rhetoric that such events are against Bulgaria’s “national traditions” is still alive, but the LGBT community’s powers and readiness to fight back are also growing.

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