The march of freedom – tens of thousands of people marched again in the 29th Budapest Pride


For years, tens of thousands of people have celebrated and protested at the Budapest Pride March. This year, for the 29th time, the Budapest Pride Community Festival was organized and the subsequent large-scale Budapest Pride March. In Hungary, for decades, it has been a rare day when people can be themselves in a public space, free and safe, in a friendly, open, inclusive and supportive environment. 

For more than a decade, the government has been waging an increasingly harsh, vicious and ruthless hate campaign against the LGBTQ community in Hungary, not only with the media under total control but with all the legal and political tools of the equally captured and expropriated state apparatus. The organizers all remember Article 33, the law that made it impossible to recognize the gender of transgender people legally, the inclusion of homophobia and transphobia in the Fundamental Law. You can also think of the practice of foil wrapping in bookshops, or the censorship of under-18s in the National Museum’s World Press Photo exhibition and later in the Ethnographic Museum’s temporary exhibition of the work of Claudia Andujar, a photographer of Hungarian origin. In addition, the Media Council has ruled that the Budapest Pride campaign video cannot continue to be broadcast by Hungarian television channels as a social advertisement because, according to the Media Council’s official position, it is “likely to harm the physical, mental or moral development of minors.”

At the same time, there is also an increase in resistance. Since the introduction of the Russian-style propaganda law in 2021, the organizers have maintained a steady number of over 35,000 people in our marches. The organizers estimate that in 2024 at least 30.000 people have marched for each other and for those who could not or dared not come with us for a free and inclusive Hungary.

While the number of marchers is increasing year by year, the number of far-right counter-protesters is proportionally decreasing. Although every year they try to gain visibility, this year their small numbers have made this almost impossible. In their demonstration, 20-30 hate-mongers in black tried to intimidate and out-shout the crowd of tens of thousands – without success.

The 29th Budapest Pride March was launched by Máté Hegedűs and Laura Tóth from Podmaniczky utca. The organizers of Budapest Pride then transformed themselves into DJ Spoti and DJ Fy, the guardians of the music dimension, the musicians in charge of the Budapest Pride truck – to the great delight of the marchers.

25 marchers from more than 17 cities across the country, supported by the Budapest Pride bid, took part. A huge number of support groups also marched, this year 39 NGOs, rural LGBTQ associations, political parties and inclusive companies joined us.

In the civil village the participants could get acquainted with 17 NGOs, including AltAlap- Alternatíva Alapítvány/ Drog Stop Egyesület,  Amnesty International Magyarország, Bálint Zsidó Közösségi Ház Alapítvány, Háttér Társaság, Könyvtári LMBTQ Munkacsoport,  Közélet Iskolája Alapítvány, LMBTQI Személyek szülei, hozzátartozói, Magyar LMBT Szövetség, Magyar Pszichológiai Társaság LMBTQ Szekció, Marom Klub Egyesület (Auróra, Bánkitó Fesztivál, Szabad Terek hálózat), Pécs Pride, Stop STD ,Szexpozitív Egyesület, Színfogó Egyesület (Élő Könyvtár az Emberi Jogokért), Társaság a Szabadságjogokért, Transvanilla Egyesület and UNHCR ENSZ Menekültügyi Fôbiztosság is.

The marching crowd was very long, and Gergő Palócz and Gergő Szekér entertained the early arrivals with their own songs and covers. The closing event of the 29th Budapest Pride March was hosted by Orsolya Karafiáth, writer and poet, who introduced our activists: Erik Robin Erdős, representative of the Prizma Transznemű Közösség, one of the organizers of the 2nd Trans Pride, and Fruzsina Balogh, staff member of the Civil Kollégium Alapítvány.

On behalf of Budapest Pride, Manyi Filó, recently awarded the Háttér-díj, gave a speech. Manyi stressed that “in order not to give up and to persevere, the organizers need allies, supporters, who ensure that they are here with them, both through everyday actions and by standing up against the attacks on us. Through these seemingly small acts, you can do much to collectively break down the wall that has been erected between the LGBTQ community and mainstream society.” Also performing on our stage were drag queens Tinez, and Katherine Taylor.

As an indication of the seriousness of the LGBTQ situation in Hungary, 44 embassies and cultural institutes have issued a joint statement urging national governments to end discriminatory laws and rhetoric against the LGBTQ community in Hungary.

The event was attended by the embassies of Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Latvia, the Netherlands, Norway, Peru, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Slovenia, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the United States of America.

The 29th Budapest Pride Parade was made possible by the hard work of more than 300 volunteers, nearly 30 project members and 15 organizers. Our route took in some of the most beautiful spots in the city center, including the hugely popular Andrássy út. The police and the courts have again this year recognized that far-right groups were using their route-bookings to deprive marchers and demonstrators of the right to freedom of assembly.

At the end of the event, the organizers also announced the date of next year’s 30th anniversary Budapest Pride March, which will fall on the anniversary of the historic Stonewall riot, 28 June 2025. To mark the anniversary, the organizers are preparing a number of major events.

The organizers of Budapest Pride are grateful for the work of the volunteers, project members, the cooperation of the police, the participation of the marching groups, the organizations that were present, and the marchers who, despite the heat, once again turned out in amazing numbers to support each other and the LGBTQ community. Together we can and will claim back our future!

The Pride atmosphere continued from 22.00 in the evening in Budapest Park, where the biggest LGBTQ party in the country, the Rainbow Party, was held. The afterparty, which has been running under this name for over 20 years, has grown from a small basement club to Budapest’s biggest outdoor venue. Featuring a variety of music and drag queen performers on three stages, visitors to the all-night Rainbow Party are also supporting a good cause: their ticket purchase helps to cover the costs of the Budapest Pride March.

(Budapest Pride)

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