Rome Pride 2018 Brought Nearly Half a Million People to Party in Front of the Coliseum

Rome Pride 2018 Brought Nearly Half a Million People to Party in Front of the Coliseum

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Over 500,000 people attended Rome Pride 2018 this weekend, participating in its 2.4-mile late afternoon march through the historic Italian capitol. This year’s theme, “Rainbow Brigade — Liberation continues,“ called for Italy to grant same-sex marriage, end violence against transgender people and oppose fascism, among other aims amid the newly elected Italian government.

Though the country legalized gay sex all the way back in 1887 and has offered workplace protections for gay, lesbian and bi people since 2003, it’s still a heavily Catholic country with conservative government leaders. In fact, barely one week ago the newly appointed Minister for Families Lorenzo Fontana said conservative Catholic Italy doesn’t have gay families — to which LGBTQ Instagram users responded with pics of their families and the hashtag #WeExist.

In 2017, Rainbow Europe ranked Italy as 32nd out of 49 European countries in terms of LGBTQ rights, mostly because it lacks widespread anti-discrimination protections (offering no legal protections for gender identity). It also lacks marriage equality and laws punishing hate crimes and hate speech.

Furthermore, Italy recently went through general elections on March 4, and the organizers of Rome Pride called it “one of the worst electoral campaigns in the history of the Republic, full of hatred, violence and intolerance for a mere calculation of votes.”

A performer from Rome Pride 2018

Rome Pride said the election stirred up racism, nationalist and fascist sentiment in the country, despite the country rejecting fascism at the end of World War II. Thus, this year’s parade organizers published a political manifesto for this year’s march.

That manifesto calls for embracing gender fluidity and nonconformity, recognizing intersectional oppressions, restoring reproductive rights, not inflicting genital surgery on intersex children, access to trans health care, more sexual health education and marriage and parenting rights for same-sex couples.

An afterparty took place at Qube Rome, a three-floor dance club known for featuring well-known DJs, go-go boys and shows starring Italian drag queen Karma B.

Here are some of our favorite photos from Rome Pride 2018:

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