31 May 2014 18:50

The first Cyprus Gay Pride parade takes place today at 5pm, beginning from Eleftheria Square and ending in the Municipal Gardens behind the parliament in Nicosia.
The organised events which have been taking place throughout the past two weeks included film screenings, theatre performances, music, dance and workshops which kicked off with the "Rainbow Walk" in which participants walked from the Kugulu Park to Buyuk Han in occupied Nicosia.
"This was a good way to start the festival," says Costas Gavrielides, president of Accept-LGBT Cyprus, organiser of the event.
"There were around 200 people walking with us on that day and we estimate this as a positive outcome," added Gavrielides.
Surprised and enthusiastic about the support the festival has received so far, not just by authorities and diplomats, Gavrielides was keen to point out that there were no outcries in the media or any opposition to the event, aside the official negative stance of the Church.
"Everyone is entitled to have their opinion," said Gavrielides with regards to the Church which asserts that the words of God "condemns homosexuality" and that homosexual relationships are a "moral aberration".
"Aside the official position of the Church, we have seen, through these two weeks and with the organising of the event that our society is more advanced than we thought," added Gavrielides.
The Facebook event shows over 2,000 people have stated that they will participate in the event, a number which Gavrielides doesn't count on. "Many people have joined the Facebook page in order to support the event but this doesn't necessarily mean that they will attend. Initially we were aiming for 150 people to join in the parade.
"Today I think it is safe to say that we are expecting 300-500 people in the parade, although I'm sure there may be more people around who will be present but will not necessarily participate in the March."
Gavrielides also confirmed rumours that Cypriot Singer Anna Vissi would attend the parade, one of the only showbiz figures to attend the Parade.
"Anna Vissi will be with us and will give a statement at the beginning of the parade, but she is not here to sing," stressed Gavrielides, "she is here as a Cypriot who supports the cause. She will be walking with us".


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