Organizers of the third annual Prague Pride Festival have adopted Coming Out as the theme of this year's festivities. The festival will run Aug 12 to 18 and will feature almost 100 social, cultural and sporting events.
"To be yourself, to live without having to pretend or hide is still a problem for many gays and lesbians in the Czech society," reads a press release issued by the Prague Pride organizing committee, which notes that "according to the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights only 11 percent of Czech gays and lesbians are out in their workplace."
"In the Czech political scene there is not a single politician that voluntary came out publicly. Therefore, one of the highlights of the festival will be a debate on coming out and politics, with US Congressman David Cicilline, conservative British MP Michael Freer and liberal Dutch MP Mark Verheijen," the statement reads.
The Pride parade will take place Saturday, Aug 17, starting at 2pm at the Estates Theatre. The parade will pass through the historical centre of Prague to Letná Park, where two stages will feature Pride concerts. Headline entertainers are the New York-based project Hercules and Love Affair Soundsystem, along with Czech bands Cartonnage and Lanugo.
At this year's festival, Pride organizers are debuting a "Pride Piazetta" next to the National Theatre, creating a "public square" for gathering and socializing. The National Theatre will be hosting performances, film screenings, a photo exhibition on coming out, and a Silent Disco party.
The program Transgender Me will feature an international exhibition of contemporary art that focuses on transgender people from different cultures and times.
Specific Pride events are being organized for tourists visiting the Czech capital, including a LGBT tour through the historic city centre, a boat cruise and a tour of Prague's gay scene.
For more information on the 2013 Prague Pride festival and complete event listings, visit praguepride.com.