Text and photos by PortugalGay.PT. All rights reserved.
It was yesterday that was held in Lisbon another edition of the Arraial Pride in the Terreiro do Paço square. Shortly after lunch we felt the excitement of preparing for a night of partying. An organization of ILGA Portugal association with Lisbon City Hall, the Arraial Pride was the place for reivindication and associations, but yesterday that presence was not that clear. We felt the lack of many LGBT groups, in the main area there was Rede Ex Aequo and Queer Lisboa (Film Festival) and in the space farthest from the stage the Não Te Prives and AMPLOS (Parents of LGBT). Also present were supporters, with many social and politic concrete actions, we had the GAT (Aids Awareness), APF (Family Planning), APAV (Support of Victims), Abraço (Aids Awareness) and Amnesty International. Among those present we could hear some less favorable reviews of the music, which had several breaks and the shows that were not visible on stage, besides the non sense of an announcement of an after-show party that would start at 10PM... when the Arraial is an all night event and had still barely begun his animation by 9PM. The organization said that the Arrial this year would start at 2 PM, but an hour later we still heard the construction of a last stand, so as the sound check, which continued until close to 8 PM(!) Another comment we heard was: "The arraial this year seems an economic fair!", given the number of commercial booths were present in the area beyond the obvious and lively bars of the LGBT Lisboa night. The hour of the speeches came, a video was presented with several interventions in the Parliament during the legislative process to amend the Civil Marriage Act in general with a focus on January 8, 2010 in particular. On stage, the message was less diverse, with virtually only one voice to speak and defend the viewpoints of ILGA Portugal in relation to equality in marriage, without a single reference to the direct problems of parenting (same sex couples cannot adopt a child, even if married), much less the other LGBT issues (which stands not only for Lesbian and Gay but also includes Bisexual and Transgender). According to our estimates (which are... estimates!), this edition the Arraial Pride had around 4000 to 5000 people who took this ocasion to socialize with each other, and many others were not seen for a long time and there had their meeting place on a special night. Next year we'll be back.
Note PG: Dark Horses This is the name of a rugby team in Lisbon. A special team, since it is organized by gay people (but open to all sexual orientations) and had its stand in the Arraial. This must have been perhaps the most visited and lively booth among the non-commercial ones, so alive that neither the power cuts wiped out the party lived there and conviviality. This stand was intended to publicize the team's existence and to attract new adherents and practitioners.