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Sardinia takes to the beach for its sandy gay Pride on 29th June

Sardinia takes to the beach for its sandy gay Pride on 29th June

Sardinia is uniting for an LGBT pride parade on the beach which will teach the island about gay families and transphobia.

The announcement of the event’s details comes after the first pride, last year, was attacked by right-wing politicians who declared the Mediterranean island doesn’t need the event.

The ‘Queeresima’ – 40 days of events – will culminate in the final parade on the beach on 29 June. But there’s more to the festival than music and drag queens.

LGBT association ARC’s spokesman Carlo Cotza told Gay Star News: ‘I think the most important event of the Queeresima will be the conference on LGBT rights at Cagliari University.

‘Several professionals will meet to discuss many gay issues on every front. We’ll have laywers, psychologists, historians, court judges and social workers.

‘We want to fight the bad reactions we had from the right-wing politicians. But their reactions were useless, we are not worried about them.’

On these days, conferences, forums, films and plays in theaters will keep LGBT people and their allies busy.

In Sardinia there are several LGBT associations, clubs, bars and beaches where gay, bi and trans people can meet.

Gay life is mainly in Sassari and Cagliari, Sardinia’s biggest cities. But little villages are standing up for LGBT rights as well.

The organizers hope this year’s pride will attract more than the 7,000 people seen in 2012.

Cotza added: ‘Last year the main theme was the relationship between religion and discrimination. This year, we’ll focus on transphobia and new families.’

ARC is a completely independent association. For this year’s pride, no public grant has been given, even though the Cagliari council supports the parade with policing and general cleaning of the streets.

For the first time, the Cagliari pride will be a regional one, so it’s name is ‘Sardinian Pride’.

The north of the island, where another association, the MOS, leads the LGBT debate, will have a separate calendar, with the events called Diritti al Cuore (Straight to the Heart).

But the ARC and the MOS will meet together for the Cagliari Pride, which will start from a sandy beach and will end in front of the sea.

This year, ARC and MOS received the CGIL union’s active support.

Sandro Gallittu is the secretary of the Nuovi Diritti section at CGIL. ‘Nuovi Diritti’ means ‘new rights’, an adjective indicating that in Sardinia and Italy LGBT issues are still something new.

He told Gay Star News: ‘We are so happy to support this year’s pride. We hope in a crowded parade, but we are working for something else as well.

‘Tomorrow [17 May] we will host a full day of conferences on the Homocaust [the LGBT Holocaust]. And we’ll focus also on the dangerous gay cures.’