Last month people witnessed with horror the brutal beating of Svyatoslav Sheremet, head of the Gay-Forum of Ukraine, at the first ever gay parade in Kiev. This sparked major concerns over the safety of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered people in Ukraine and those attending Euro 2012 in Ukraine in June. Meanwhile, fellow Euro 2012 host country Poland sees the opening of “Euro Pride House” next week. Euro Pride House is an initiative of the European Gay and Lesbian Sports Federation, a network of more than 100 LGBT sports groups throughout Europe. Co-President Lou Manders explains:
“Euro Pride House is a place for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans community to enjoy Euro2012 in safety alongside straight friends, allies and fellow supporters in an environment of tolerance and respect for fundamental human rights.”
The launch of Euro Pride House will take place on Friday 8 June in Warsaw, Poland. Guests will include activists, football supporters, politicians and representatives from within football. Euro Pride House is part of a wider European project, Football For Equality, whose aim is to tackle homophobia and other forms of discrimination through sport. The concept behind Euro Pride House is to raise awareness of the involvement of LGBT people in football as supporters and participants and to create a dialogue amongst football’s many stakeholders on homophobia and transphobia, particularly within Eastern Europe.
Throughout June Euro Pride House will screen matches, host a table football tournament and play host to a range of debates and networking events. Of course, there is also a very well stocked bar and great local seasonal food for any fans looking for a friendly place to relax during the tournament.