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New bridge to be named after iconic Brussels LGBTQ activist

Tuesday, 09 July 2019

A new bridge in Schaerbeek will be named after an iconic LGBTQ Brussels activist. Credit: © Beliris
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A new bridge which will span the Brussels canal will be named after an iconic Brussels-born gay-rights activist often credited with driving the gay and queer rights movement in Belgium, after she founded the country’s first-ever LGBTQ association.

The Suzan Daniel bridge will link the Tour & Taxi and Gare du Nord areas of the northern municipality of Schaerbeek.

“Suzan Daniel will not get a small street, but a real bridge that connects riverbanks and neighbourhoods on which you can walk hand in hand and passionately kiss,” Brussels Alderwoman for Urban Planning Ans Persoons told Bruzz.

Daniel, whose real name was Suzanne De Pues, was born in Brussels and passed away in Uccle in 2007.

She was a lesbian activist credited with spurring LGTBQ activism to life in Belgium after she founded the Centre Culturel de Belgique, the country’s first-ever “group for gays and lesbians” in 1953.

The need for Daniel’s fake name and the inconspicuous name given to her association stem from the social pressures of the times, which “were such that they still forced people to opt for pseudonyms and give innocuous names to their organizations,” according to the Belgian Pride Association‘s website.

Construction for Daniel’s namesake bridge is expected to start in autumn, upon its completion, the bridge will link together the Avenue du Port and the Boulevard Simon Bolivar.

The choice to name the bridge after the LGTBQ activist was made jointly by the city of Brussels and federal contractor Beliris, who called on citizens to propose names for the new construction.

Daniel’s name was chosen over that of French filmmaker Agnès Varda and other shortlisted proposals including the Ginder Bridge, the 22 March Bridge and the Zinnekes Bridge.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times

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