I had briefly met Marko Mapkob in Athens, and he was nice enough to let us meet up with him when we came to Sofia.
Local photographers opened Pride week with a gallery of photos from previous Prides. The empty frames will be filled with images from this year’s event.
Organizers hold a meeting at a local restaurant. Many of the volunteers do not want their faces shown.
Marko is asked to appear on a local radio station to speak about the upcoming Sofia Pride. The man in white is from a Family Values group. He argued some very interesting facts like; homosexuals die 20 years younger than straight people, all homosexuals want to legalize gay prostitution and drugs, and that all homosexuals have at least 500 sex partners in their life time. These statements were presented as “facts” to those listening to the radio show.
During one of the last meetings, organizers are shown pictures of skinheads and organizations that have threatened violence against the Pride.
Volunteers are shown a video of the violence that has occurred during previous Prides.
A fund-raiser is held at a local disco.
A single Rainbow Flag hangs from a window of a friend’s apartment the day of the Pride.
Organizers check the streets below the LGBT headquarters.
Friends are met just before the Pride.
In past years, protestors have thrown Molotov cocktails during the Pride. Fire extinguishers are now brought along as a precaution.
EU Representive, Michael Cashman, attended the Pride.
Police did a good job keeping protestors away from the Pride. Even though this man swears he only wants to walk across the park, I would later see him yelling at participants along the Pride route.
Sofia has its 3rd Pride.
While the Pride did have some protestors, and 3 arrests were made, there was none of the extreme violence that had occurred in earlier years. These two elderly men expressed their dislike, but were not violent.
The march ended in a local park with music and dancing.
Again, I would like to thank everyone in Sofia, and we wish you all the best.
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