Gay people in the Portuguese city of Braga often feel they are invisible.
However, a group of LGBT people are hoping to change that by holding the city’s first Gay Pride event.
Braga, the third largest city in Portugal and Europe’s Youth Capital of 2012, will be hosting the first of what the organisers hope will be an annual pride event on Saturday (13 July).
Janison Horacio, one of the organizers, talked to us about gay life in the city.
He explains: ‘It’s quite hard; there is no LGBT group in this town. It used to have, but all of them were closed for the lack of enough participants and organizers.
‘Most of the LGBT people in Braga are afraid to be recognized as homosexual. This society here needs to respect and stop pretending that [the] LGBT community doesn’t exist.’
The day consists of many events, including debates and an LGBT film festival. It will cumulate with the city’s first pride parade.
Horacio is looking forward to the event.
He says ‘We [will] have a company doing HIV tests and giving away condoms. After pride we’ll have a gathering in a pub, and one of our organizers will put on some tunes, all night long, to celebrate our first pride in Braga.’
Many locals in Braga feel that being homosexual, or even talking about it, is still considered taboo. The organizers are hoping to challenge these perceptions, and for the event to grow.
Horacio has big plans for the future of Braga Pride.
He told us: ‘It will be the first one of thousands. We are planning to create a LGBT group and [will be] planning events every month to keep the Braga’s LGBT community visible and try to make money for the next pride.’