by Rex Wockner
LGBT people took to the streets for gay pride June 18 in Sofia, Bulgaria; Zagreb, Croatia; Budapest, Hungary; and Tijuana, Mexico.
About 1,000 marched in Sofia, and 2,000 marched in Zagreb and Budapest. All three parades were heavily protected by police because of violence in previous years or threats from extremists this year.
In Budapest, 50 participants who had come on a bus from Austria were detained by police for two hours, and two of the individuals were arrested and held overnight.
According to Homosexual Initiative Vienna (HOSI Wien), the Austrian LGBTs were harassed as they headed back to their bus by 15 anti-gay “neo-Nazis,” who attacked them with “terribly smelly sprays.”
According to HOSI, the attackers then told nearby police that the LGBTs were the ones who had done the attacking.
“The police then brutally dragged all 50 of us out of the bus, we had to hand over our passports, and were put, one by one, in front of the group of neo-Nazis so that they could ‘identify’ those who had allegedly attacked them,” said HOSI’s Judith Goetz. “The neo-Nazis then picked randomly two of us as having attacked them.”
HOSI’s secretary general, Kurt Krickler, said the organization was “appalled” by the incident and expects it will have “some sort of diplomatic sequel.”
In Mexico, meanwhile, about 1,000 people joined in Tijuana’s 16th GLBTI Pride parade June 18.
Many rode on the beds of semi trucks blasting Mexican and American dance tunes.
The colorful, rowdy procession was well-received by onlookers who swelled to a throng at Second Street and Constitution Avenue.
Afterward, drag queens performed on an open-air stage in Plaza Santa Cecilia, the city’s gayest block, which slants from First Street to Second Street between Revolution and Constitution avenues.