Gay Brussels Belgium

Summer and Gay Pride!

While June is the biggest month for Pride, some cities and countries will observe pride earlier or later. In Brussels, they will celebrate the week of May 16th.  We have never been – but are thinking of going this year…any advice from any readers???

Belgium is a small country (11,730 square Miles, the size of Maryland) with a population of  10 million.There are three languages (Dutch, French and German). However, English is widely spoken I am told. The three regions (Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels) have self-government in many spheres. Like most of Europe, Belgium has retained its old-world charm in the preservation of its ancient buildings and historical traditions. Brussels is the capital of Belgium and the administrative centre of the European Union. This has earned the city the title of the Capital of Europe.

I found quite a long list of gay bars, discos and sauna’s online @ Trabel.  It says the most of the gay action is all centered around the area of the Grand Place.

Belgium is a country well known for the best beer in the world! I don’t drink beer – but I am sure they have Vodka or wine somewhere, right? If you are into beer, there was an extensive list of pubs and brewerys online.

The world famous peeing boy can be seen every day and night at the corner of Eikstraat/Stoofstraat near the Grand Place.  I was told to  try to find out if the Manneken receives a new costume during my stay. During that occasion he pees beer instead of water!

I also read about OCEADE’ – the indoor waterpark. While most of these places are usually very straight, there are always some young euro hotties in wet speedo’s  running around!

Getting back to gay…In the late 70s and early 80s the Belgian gay community organised a number of street demonstrations to raise visibility and demand equal rights. The first one was held on 5 May 1979 in Antwerp. Over the years, their pride celebration has gotten bigger and bigger!
Much more than just a bunch of drag queens and floats (though those are fun, don’t get me wrong) the gay people of Brussels and Belgium take pride very seriously and it is much more of a political statement. They host a demonstration/march as opposed to a flamboyant parade. 

The Pride marches are held annually in Belgium’s capital Brussels since 1996, with similar events having been held intermittently in preceding years in both Brussels and other cities.

While the marches have a festive character, they are also used to present the gay movement’s political agenda in the form of a list of demands. The list was updated a number of times (in 1996, 1999, 2000, 2004 and 2005) and has included demands for anti-discimination laws, inclusion of gay relationships in high-school sex education and the right to adoption by same-sex parents.

Belgium is considered to be a very liberal country with gay rights and became the 2nd country in the world to legalize gay marriage, in 2003.

Anyone have any thoughts to share about gay Brussels, let us know!

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