Luxembourg Pride Week 2022 and LGBTIQ life
Join the street party at Esch-sur-Alzette this weekend, that will bring this year's Pride Week to a close.
Luxembourg is one of a few European countries to have an openly gay prime minister, and the country legalised same sex civil union in 2004, and same sex marriage on 18 June 2014.
It may not have a reputation as a party town in the international LGBTIQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Questioning/Queer) community, but it has a niche and vibrant scene. You can find out more about Pride Week and the organisations that support the LGBTIQ community below:
Luxembourg Pride Week
Change from Gaymat to Luxembourg Pride
Formerly called Gaymat, but officially Luxembourg Pride for a few years, the week is celebrated this year from 1-10 July at Esch-sur-Alzette, with a Street Fest on the last two days.
The Luxembourgish words "Géi mat" translate into "come along". The event organisers believe that not everyone understands the anglicised version of this word (into Gaymat), and that foreign residents may not get the original pun. Luxembourg Pride was considered a more inclusive title for all minorities, but Gaymat's roots, will however, still be part of the history of Luxembourg Pride.
The Pride team point out too, that whilst the week is marked with celebrations, the original message of Pride - equality for LGBTIQ people, remains the main issue today - as homophobia, biphobia and transphobia still exist, and not all LGBTIQ people are treated fairly across the globe.
Prime Minister Xavier Bettel made history on 24 September 2019 when he addressed the United Nationals General Assembly about LGBTIQ-specific issues and said: "Being gay is not a choice, but not accepting it is a choice...Homophobia is a choice and we have to fight against it!”
Celebrations for Pride Week
The Street Fest returns this weekend from 9-10 July, and is part of Esch2022, "Remix Europe". It will, of course, include a parade, and an Equality March on Saturday which will exceptionally start across the border in France this year, making it one of only two trans-border Pride marches in Europe.
There will be two stages in Esch for performances, the main stage opposite the town hall, and the village stage at Place Helen Buchholtz. DJ Pippa and George Philippart will grace this stage, whilst the main stage on Saturday will host CHAiLD, Edsun (wearing the Amsterdam Rainbow Dress) and rounds off with the iconic Boy George & Culture Club.
On Sunday you can catch Daniel Schuhmacher, Eurovision song contest performers Jendrik and Poli Genova, and drag artist Leona Winter. The evening will finish with Jaouad featuring Gustaph. You can find full details of the acts and performance times here.
Sunday will also feature a Rainbow Breakfast and drag shows, and is an invitation to everyone to celebrate the colourful diversity of living together.
The Luxembourg Pride HQ at Bâtiment 4, located at 66 rue de Luxembourg in Esch will not only host the Official Pride Party (9 July), but the Queer Arts Festival with film, dance performances, music, paintings, literature, photography and poetry/slam. There will also be an exhibition on LGBTIQ+ history in Luxembourg, and the realities of life for people ignored by historiography.
As every year, there was a commemoration ceremony on 4 July for those that were victims of social hate and crime. Edsun also performed in the Amsterdam Rainbow Dress, made from the flags of all the countries where homosexuality is punished by law, possibly with death. As each country changes these rules, its flag is replaced by a rainbow flag.
The week also included Diva storytelling with Séraphine, and a conference that discussed the meaning of LGBTIQ for trans and intersex persons, the LGBTIQ situation in Poland, and the Amsterdam Rainbow Dress.
You can take a look at the highlights of the Luxembourg Pride Week parade and street party from 2019 in the video below.
LGBTIQ associations and support in Luxembourg
Rosa Lëtzebuerg Association
Founded in 1996, The Rosa Lëtzebuerg Association aims to work for all LGBTIQ people in Luxembourg. It defends and promotes LGBTIQ rights and equality, fights against discrimination and raises awareness, across the fields of justice, health, social life, education, culture and sport.
It welcomes LGBTIQ people in Luxembourg and provides socio-family counselling.
It also organises some seasonal meet ups and special events.
The LGBTIQ Consultation Centre CIGALE, set up by Rosa Lëtzebuerg in 2002, provides support on sexual identity and orientation.
The centre provides a safe and protected meeting place and consultations or information. It also offers individual socio-pedagogical support for those 25 years and under, socio-family counselling and, it functions as a youth centre. It works with health professionals providing training on LGBTIQ issues.
ITGL (stands for Intersex & Transgender Luxembourg asbl), works towards a society in which any person can be accepted and respected as they define themselves, whatever the variations of their biological sex, or identity of gender or social gender role.
CIGALE sponsors and hosts events for the LGBTIQ community in Luxembourg, including queer yoga, self-defense and the newly formed Uniqueers.
Partners with CIGALE, Pink Ladies - Queer Women in Luxembourg organises regular meet-ups including monthly drinks and snacks in the city, Lesbian Visibility Day, demonstrations and, in conjunction with other groups, park meet-ups, yoga and other activities. Pink Gents organises a monthly Gentlemen's Dinner on a Friday, hosted at a couple of different restaurants in town.
Banana is a party concept ready to use for bar and club owners specialising in events for the LGBTIQ community. They have organised a Superheroes Party, and Banana Country.
Fairytails is a young collective whose motto is to offer the best gay club experience in Luxembourg. They organise themed extravaganzas in Luxembourg. A pool party has been organised for 10 July.
Cafe DaMA in Differedange hosts a number of drag nights, including performances, and Donna's Quiz night (she also does DJing). Barnum, a restaurant at Redange, also hosts a number of drag cabaret nights on a regular basis.
Queer.lu brings together many of the LGBTIQ associations and organisations and is responsible for the Luxembourg Queer Arts festival. Queer Loox organises screenings of queer-feminist films and documentaries, plus art installations, at Rotondes.