First refuge for LGBT opens in Brussels as Pride takes over city

First refuge for LGBT opens in Brussels as Pride takes over city
A previous edition of Brussels Pride©wlohelsen/Flickr Commons

Saturday sees the latest edition of Brussels Pride, a demonstration in celebration of LGBT culture and for LGBT rights, which coincides with a report from the government equal-rights organisation Unia which shows that there were 84 cases opened in the past year of homophobic discrimination. The annual march, which is likely to cause some disruption to traffic in the centre of Brussels, also comes as it was announced that the country’s first ever refuge for victims of LGBT violence will open in July. The refuge provides accommodation for four victims at a time, and will be situated somewhere in the centre, at a location not of course to be disclosed.

The Brussels Rainbow House, which gathers together several LGBT groups, reports that it received at least one request per week for help from a victim of homophobic aggression, aimed at gay, lesbian and trans people. Many are the victims of exclusion by the own families – a situation which tends to affect the youngest and most vulnerable.

Last year Unia opened 84 case files on homophobic discrimination, ranging from verbal to physical violence. A spokesperson said the number was lower than in previous years, but there was small comfort: people may no longer be willing to make complaints, assuming the general situation for the LGBT community is now better than it used to be.

Meanwhile, in Brussels, the Pride march was predicted to cause traffic disruption in the centre of town. The parade will depart from the Mon des Arts at 1430, descending via Putterie and Arenberg to the Bourse, rue des Pierres, rue de la Violette, place du Vieux Marché aux Grains and then rue de l’Escalier, terminating at around 1700.

Alan Hope
The Brussels Times

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