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Pride Festival is BACK!

published on 2 May 2022

The Pride Festival is back! After an exciting 2021 edition, the summer festival celebrating Brussels’ queer community is back this year, from June 16 to July 31, livelier than ever… and with a brand new identity. Take a look at this:

  • NAME – Bye bye Pride Festival, hello “Rainbow Festival”!
    This new name erases the frequent confusion with Belgian Pride, the organisation in charge of the Pride Parade. It also makes it clear at a glance that the event is linked to the LGBTQIA+ community and that the festival is affiliated with RainbowHouse and their other projects: Rainbow Runners, Rainbow Karavane and Rainbow Festival.


  • THEME – “We are here, we are queer”
    This historic phrase, uttered in 1992 by the activist organisation Queer Nation, perfectly captures the heart of the festival. Firstly, it reflects our desire to reclaim public space. It is also a way of awakening the interest and curiosity of the general public, which is increasingly curious about the evolution of the community. Finally, it allows us to highlight the specific characteristics of each group in our community.


  • PUBLIC – activities for the community and the general public
    Historically, the Rainbow Festival has been a series of events organised for two audiences: the LGBTQIA+ community, of course, for whom it is an opportunity to come together and party in a safe(r) space, and the general public. In recent months, the LGBTQIA+ community has been in the spotlight, especially with the Petit Robert’s adoption of the neuter French pronoun “iel” and the case of transphobia at the Drug Opéra restaurant, both of which received considerable media attention. These two examples show that the public is becoming increasingly curious about the evolutions in the community. For this 2022 edition, we want to focus on events that allow the general public to meet the queer population of Brussels, while keeping the LGBTQIA+ population at the centre of most events.


    The Pride Festival, which is usually held in May in conjunction with Belgian Pride and lasts two weeks, took place in September in 2020 for a fortnight. In 2021, the Pride Festival took place in July and August over a two-month period. In 2022, the Rainbow Festival will take place from 16 June to 31 July. This choice is justified by the desire to reach as many people as possible who are still working in June and to allow for varied activities during the holidays.


    The programme will be as varied and rich as in previous editions: concerts, workshops, shows, films, dance classes, meetings, discussion groups… The programme is often updated, so feel free to consult this page regularly to stay informed about the latest events.

★ 11 June ★ “Dance With Pride” show and community afternoon @Centre Culturel d’Uccle
Come and see Sing Out’s new show: Dance With Pride, a colourful performance celebrating the power of dance for the LGBTQIA+ community. On this occasion, RainbowHouse and some of its member organisations will present their actions and activities to the public during the afternoon at the cultural centre of Uccle. The day will be launched in the morning with the inauguration of the first rainbow pedestrian crossing in the municipality of Uccle.


★ 12 June ★ Screening of the film “Great Freedom” @Centre Culturel Jacques Franck
The story of Hans Hoffmann. He is a homosexual and homosexuality is illegal in post-war Germany according to article 175 of the penal code. But he perseveres in his search for freedom and love, even in prison… This gripping biopic will be shown at the Centre Culturel Jacques Franck on 12 June.


★ 7 July ★ Screening of the film “El Fantasma de la Sauna”
Javi arrives at the Sauna Popular looking for a job to fulfil his dream of becoming a singer. The business is at its lowest point and Asun, the owner, decides to take him in in exchange for help. The boy soon discovers that everyone is hiding dark secrets: the biggest of these is a mysterious man who lives in the ventilation ducts and eventually falls in love with the young man. The queer, fantasy version of Phantom of the Opera, will be screened on 7 July.


★ 16 July ★ Introduction to Queer tango @Vaux-Hall (Parc Royal)
How about an introduction to queer tango in the exceptional setting of the Vaux-Hall, in the heart of the Parc Royal? Queer tango makes it possible to dance Argentine tango while getting away from traditional heteronormative roles, and thus without regard to gender in the leader/follower relationship. If you’re new to this, rest assured: this is an introductory course, you don’t need to have any special dance skills. The aim is just to have fun together! It is on July 16 at the Vaux-Hall.

★ 23 July ★ Exhibition and film on the deportation of lesbians during the Second World War @Centre Tour à Plomb
Come and discover the gripping exhibition and fascinating film recounting the tragic fate of lesbians during the Second World War. It is on 23 July at the Centre de la Tour à Plomb.

… and more coming soon.



Weekly film debates about a particular community
“The LGBTQIA+ community”: we now know that behind this one community label lies a multitude of heterogeneous groups with specific needs (not surprising for a group that brings together members based on two very different criteria: gender identity and sexual orientation). This recurring activity will draw attention to a community and its current situation, needs and demands, both for those inside the community and those outside.

Workshop – LGBTQIA+: What is it?
As the LGBTQIA+ community becomes more visible, terms are becoming more popular and are starting to enter everyday language, where others that were used before are now banned. If you feel that sometimes it is difficult to really understand these words and navigate through them, then this workshop is for you. In this workshop without taboos, anyone can ask questions about community and the many terms that describe it.

Language workshop included: why and how?
The adoption of the French neutral pronoun “iel” in Le Robert in 2021 will have caused a stir, to say the least. For some it is a fad of Generation Z, for others a grammatical abomination, but these three lower case letters are nevertheless essential. This introductory workshop on inclusive language use in French will give you the keys to being as inclusive as possible while reminding you of its importance.

Queer Family Day
The LGBTQIA+ family afternoon is back! After a successful first edition in 2021, Queer Family Day is back in 2022, with a varied programme: a unicorn bouncy castle, face painting and storytelling workshops by Drag Queens artists, a screening of LGBTQIA+-themed films (Steven Universe, Out, in a heartbeat…)


The call for projects to participate in the festival is open! We are looking forward to your ideas for events and projects that we can do together. To apply, click here. We will contact you by email as soon as possible. The deadline is 18 May at 11pm.

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