Have you ever attend a Pride House? Have you ever asked yourself what it is for? Before I went to France this summer, I could say ‘no’ on the first question and give, therefore, only a theoretical explanation on the second one.

I’ve been very curious about the Euro Pride House at the European Football Cup 2016. I had so many questions about its organisation, its participants, its program and its support from the authorities… With the help of the EGLSF, Queering Football, FSGL and the French Embassy in Moscow, I got a chance to get a great experience and to learn many ideas that I hope to implement on our way to the World Cup FIFA 2018 in Russia.

I expected the Euro Pride House to be literally a house or a pavilion that is daily open for everyone in the fan zone because it must be supported by UEFA…But this was not the case in France. For the first time ever there was a mobile Euro Pride House with many events and organised discussion talks around the country, which culminated with a large group of us gathering for the semi-finals and finals in Paris. The FSGL and the EGLSF had many obstacles to face such as red tape, the weather and riots.

Talking to them, I realised that even today nothing is easy in Western Europe, as it may seem at first sight, and hence I should be down to earth with my expectations when it comes to the project of Pride House 2018 in Russia.
Nonetheless, I admit the organisers did a great work to hold many interesting LGBTIQ events across all France. They were generous to host me in Lyon and Paris and readily shared their experience with me. I highly appreciate it. It is exactly what I need in my activist work. So now I’m back to Russia and I’m going to do my best to implement as many of those ideas as possible.

Words:- Alex Agapov

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