Lublin Police Used Water Cannons And Tear Gas To Thwart Violent Pride Protestors

Warning: The video below shows depictions of violence.

A gay pride event in Poland was tragically and violently stalled after police had to step in to protect parade marchers.

According to local news source GGG, massive riots broke out during the first Pride parade in Lublin, Poland.

The eastern Polish city was struck with controversy just days before the parade was supposed to take pace, according to Gay Power Couple. The city’s mayor banned the march just a few days ago after homophobic Governor Przemyslaw Czarnek pressured him to stop the event.

That said, the Court of Appeal overruled the ban on Friday (October 12), and the event took place this past weekend.

Around 1,500 people took part in the Equality March on Saturday. Unfortunately, around 200 anti-gay protestors showed up to the event as well. These protestors started shouting while throwing stones and bottles at marchers, which prompted the police into action.

The authorities then used tear-gas and water cannons to thwart the opposing side.

“We have arrested several people but I am sure that number will increase,” said Lublin police spokesperson Renata Laszczka-Rusek in an official statement.

“During the gathering, we provided security for the participants despite the numerous illegal actions of their opponents.”

Despite the violence, the police carried out their job of protecting the marchers. Many pride participants praised the police for their efforts to protect the people.

h/t: GGG, Gay Power Couple

Polish Police Protected Pride Parade, Permitting Partiers Passage Past Protesters


In Lublin, Poland, police brought out, riot gear, tear gas, as well as a water cannon, but it wasn't to suppress Pride Parade goers, but instead these suppressant tools were used against right-wing extremists that were adamant in trying to block an LGBTQ celebration.

The first parade of its kind in Lublin brought out more than 1,000 celebrants this past Saturday. Just shy of 1/3 of that number were found to be present but on the opposing side of the celebration. Safety in numbers?  Well, when you have the support of the police to push aside the 300 right-wing opponents that were blocking the Pride march, you continue to march as tear gas, concussion grenades, and a water cannon pushed the protestors aside.


Mayor Krzysztof Zuk had cited security concerns and banned the parade, but the Lublin’s Court of Appeals overturned that ban on Friday. Seems he was right to believe there would be security concerns, but the marchers was protected by the police and we thank them for that. 

Pride parades in Poland's capital city of Warsaw have been going on for 17 years, but this was the first time one occurred in Lublin, Warsaw, roughly 112 miles southeast of Warsaw and about 60 miles from the Ukrainian border.

h/t: ETvB English

Virgin Airlines Launches Pride Flight to Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots

Very few people enjoy flying in an airplane. It's tedious, boring, and stuffy. Basically, flying is a drag. But what would you say if a flight could be a drag show? Virgin Atlantic will accomplish just that on June 28th, 2019 on their Pride Flight, according to The Guardian to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.

The flight will be hosted by Tituss Burgess, who plays as the campy Titus Andromedon (also known as Ronald Wilkerson, Flouncy Magoo, Cork Rockingham, Murasaki, and Trevor Millionair) in Netflix's hit show Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Anyone who has seen the show knows just how over-the-top and flamboyant Titus is so this flighy should be nothing short of entertaining. The flight will leave from Heathrow in Longford to Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey (The Guardian article says it's in New York but as a New Jersey native I had to set the record straight) to celebrate World Pride in 2019, which, as stated above, marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, which are widely regarded as the cornerstone of modern day gay rights movements.

On the eight-hour flight, there will be many colorful, lively, and gay events performed by an entirely LGBTQ staff, such as live performances, drag queen bingo, and a Judy Garland singalong, so while people are flying somewhere over the rainbow they can be entertained, unlike watching the same exact movie multiple times. It's definitely not your average "please fasten your seatbelt and return your tray table to its upright and locked position" kind of flight and it seems exactly like the type of flight that I would want to be on because I always like to keep it gay.

Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holiday united with the non-profit organization NYC & Company and Alliance for Downtown New York. The tickets for the flight range from £380 (approximately $502) to £699 (approximately $924). Virgin Airlines' executive vice president and global LGBT lead for Virgin Group, Mark Anderson, says that Virgin is dedicated to this flight, saying that Virgin is not "the type of company to mark an occassion like this half-heartedly" and that they "take... commitments to diversity and inclusion seriously but... have a lot of fun along the way."

It's nice to see companies standing in solidarity with LGBTQ people in a world as divisive as this one. The next time I fly, I'll fly Virgin.

A New Queen Is Crowned At A Nearly Decade Absent Atlanta Pride Event

A historic Pride pageant has returned and has crowned a new Queen.

The Miss Atlanta Pride Pageant has returned after being gone for almost a year, according to Project Q.

According to Jamie Fergerson, Atlanta Pride Committee executive director, the original drag pageant faded away in 2009 due to its huge expense, logistical leaps, and

lack of community appeal.

“It was an event that was expensive and difficult to run, and people had lost interest in the community, so we stopped having that in favor of other programming,” she told Project Q. “For the last year or so, we’ve heard more interest.”

The call for a revival of this event came from entrepreneur Keith Young who is the co-owner of the Midtown Tavern and the after hour event series called Xion. Young reached out to drag performer Celeste Holmes and husband Billy Ledford as they were the last people to organize the event. They then agreed to help bring a return to the Miss Atlanta Pride Pageant.

“I’m excited for it to be back, because Atlanta Pride is one of the largest in the country,” said Holmes. “It’s definitely the mecca for the South. To have a Miss Atlanta Pride Pageant and have someone represent Atlanta Pride all year long at events is going to add to the cache of what Atlanta Pride is and will expand the audience even further.”  

But not only did the winner of the September 30th event earn the title and responsibilities of Atlanta’s Pride Queen, but she also earned a heap a rewards.

The winner of the event received a crown, $500 in cash, a spot in the Atlanta Pride parade, a photo shoot with local photographer Just Toby, a gift certificate for a wig by Jonathan Nieves, a spot in the Shooting Stars Cabaret in Piedmont Park during Atlanta Pride, and a cast slot in Holmes’ drag show in Midtown Tavern after the pageant.

And who won the title? Miss Sheena Cassadine!

Cassadine and her fellow contestants were judged on Pride presentation, talent, and evening gown categories (according to this Georgia USofA pdf about the rules and regulations).

In the end, it was Cassadine who took home the title and all the prizes that went with it. Now, Cassadine will act as a representative of Atlanta’s gay community for the rest of the year. Congratulations to her!

h/t: Project Q, Georgia USofA,

Bearded and Burly Men Embrace Their Inner Mermaid to Raise Attention to Violence Prevention

Last year they raised over $300,000 towards mental health research and they're back to raise awareness of violence and to help violence prevention. The Merb'ys of Newfoundland in Canada are a group of burly, bearded men who pose against beautiful Newfoundland landscapes. A genius concept, really, because who doesn't like beautiful men and beautiful nature pictures?

In addition to being great to look at, the Merb'ys are raising awareness of violence in Canada, with proceeds going to Violence Prevention Newfoundland and Labrador. In doing this, the Merb'ys sending out the message that violence will not be tolerated.

The purpose of the 2019 calendar is to challenge traditional masculinity to help curb violence. The photoshoot included men of all shapes and sizes, ethnic backgrounds, and gender identities to showcase that there is beauty in differences. Merb'ys is doing a great public service by donating their money to violence prevention programs while also being all inclusive with a variety of different models. The creator of Merb'ys, Hasan Hai, never expected this concept to make as much money as it did, but judging by last year's profits, it's safe to assume that people love strong, husky men.


h/t: globalnews.ca

Pride Decorations Kicked Aside At A Polish Pride Fair

A video of a group of men kicking around a LGBT rights and pride stand is being shared like crazy.

Polish LGBT group Lambda Szczecian recently joined together with the “Equality on the Wave” association to release a small fair.

“There will be healthy cakes, salads, books, games, photo exhibition and other attractions,” said Lambda Szczecin on Facebook before the event.

The project in Szcezecin, Poland took place on Rayskiego Street and stretched from Zamenhof Square to Grunwaldzki Square, according to local news source Głos Szczeciński.

Unfortunately, a group of men stopped the fun as they started to violently kick the rainbow umbrellas placed across the street.

A few phones caught the moment on video and one such video made its way onto Facebook. It has then spread online through several posters like the Racist and Xenophobic Behavior Monitoring Center.

The police are currently investigating the situation, but no arrests have been made at the moment.

 “We’re looking into it,” says Commissioner Mirosława Rudzińska from the Police Headquarters in Szczecin. 

“If offenders are caught, they will most likely face charges for hooliganism,” added hate crime officer  Dr Piotr Godzisz according to Gay Star News.

“Most likely, there will not be a penalty top-up for the homophobic motivation.”

h/t: Głos Szczeciński, Gay Star News

Apple Blocked The Apple Watch’s Gay Pride Feature In Russia

Come Pride month, Apple is constantly promoting its commitment to celebrating equality and diversity in all ways, but it looks like Apple has its exceptions.

For instance, Apple announced the Pride Apple Watch face back in June. The design is reminiscent of the Pride flag and is meant to boldly announce Apple, and Apple users’, support for LGBTQ people.

Unfortunately, iOS developer Guilherme Rambo discovered yesterday that the Apple Watch face has been “hardcoded to not show up if the paired iPhone is using the Russian locale.”

After Rambo made this announcement, Verge reporter Tom Warren tested out the device and found that the Watch face disappears as soon as the connected iPhone switches to a Russian location.

Plus, the Mirror reports that the optional Apple’s Watch Pride strap also doesn’t sell in the country of Russia.

Again, this development is confusing as Apple has openly supported LGBTQ rights before, but it seems like it all comes down to money and the law.

In 2013, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed in a “gay propaganda” law. The law is supposedly designed to protect Russian citizens, specifically the youth, from being subjected to viewing LGBTQ content.

It seems that by banning the Apple Watch Pride face, Apple preemptively blocked the design from appearing in Russian quarters. As such, there’s no risk of being fined by the government.

That said, that’s only an assumption made by those who have discovered this hardcoding. In addition, Apple hasn’t made a comment on this development since Rambo initially pointed it out yesterday.

h/t: The Verge, The Mirror, Fast Company

The First Official Russian Pride Parade Was Banned Before it Occured

A tiny village known as Yablonevy in Russia was set to hold the nation's first officially approved LGBTQ+ Pride parade but the permission was denied by local authorities. The government of Novoulyanovsk holds jurisdiction over the village so its mayor approved the Pride parade which activists originally wanted to hold in that city's center but then decided against. In order to avoid conflict, they decided to move the parade to Yablonevy, a small town in Russia with 7 residents. However, the city manager overrode the decision to have the parade and claimed their permit was invalid because he had not been consulted before the city change had been made.

The city manager, Gennady Denikayev, said:

"I made a decision, there will be no gay parade. We intend to protect traditional family values and, foremost, our children from the propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations."

That type of "propaganda" was explcitly banned by 2013 Russian law when they stated that any positive mention of LGBTQ+ rights or identity is prohibited. All attempts to hold Pride events in major Russian cities have been banned by the government. However, there was a "rogue" Pride rally held in St. Petersburg in 2017 that was not approved by authorities. Since the city of Moscow issued a ban in 2012, gay Pride parades have been banned for the next hundred years.

h/t: Advocate, ProudOut.com

Viral Instagram Post Shows Church Goers Giving Hugs To Austin Pride Paraders Who Need It

Austin Pride may have finished up, but Instagram users are still talking about it thanks to a heartfelt post from a Texas church member.

According to Pink News, Jen Hatmarker, a religious writer who has faced backlash for her support of LGBTQ people and her opposition to President Donald Trump, organized a free hug “giveaway.” This “giveaway” saw church goers attend the Pride parade and offered hugs to anyone who wanted them.

She then created an Instagram post about the event, shared several photos of these now famous huggers, and shared an endearing message about the moment.


A post shared by Jen Hatmaker (@jenhatmaker) on

“Our arms were never empty. We ‘happy hugged’ a ton of folks, but dozens of times, I’d spot someone in the parade look our way, squint at our shirts and posters, and RACE into our arms. These were the dear hearts who said:”

‘I miss this.’
‘My mom doesn’t love me anymore.’
‘My Dad hasn’t spoken to me in three years.’
‘Please just one more hug.’

“You can only imagine what ‘Pastor Hugs’ did to folks. So we told them over and over that they were impossibly loved and needed and precious. And we hugged until our arms fell off. This is what we are doing here, what we are here for.”

There are plenty of wonderful moments that happen at Pride parades across the globe, but its good to focus on a specific sweet one like this every now and then.

h/t: Pink News

June and in America Isn't the Only Time and Place to Celebrate Pride

When it comes to Prides, do you stay local? We use our travel pieces to share with you our own personal experiences.  Our writers are on the go and visiting these places they write about.  In the past year, I personally have visited two great locations during their pride celebrations.

International Prides are amazing with so much energy, freshness, activism, and foreign men.  We branched out from the US covered in the above two posts, but is it time to explore outside of June, too?

These FIVE international Pride events continue to spread love and equality through August and September in some of the most sought-after locales. From boat parades in Amsterdam to drag shows in the Dominican Republic, these celebrations will not disappoint. 
Amsterdam Gay Pride — July 28 thru August 5
We missed the boat on this one (pun intended) for this year, but we can still plan for next year!  This unique European celebration is different from all the rest as their parade involves hundreds of decorated boats that sail through Amsterdam’s canals. More than 500,000+ spectators line the canal and watch as these vessels sail through the Reguliersdwarsstraat, Amstel Rembrandtplein and Paardenstraat areas. 
For more information, visit www.pride.amsterdam/?lang=en


CSD Berlin — July 28 
Also known as Christopher Street Day, this celebration is one of the biggest gay Pride events in Europe. This one-day event focuses on the fight for equal rights for same-sex marriage throughout Germany. The parade takes place around Kurfürstendamm street and an abundance of street festivals and dance parties can be found across the city. 
For more information, visit www.csd-berlin.de

Copenhagen Pride — August 13 thru August 19
Copenhagen Pride takes place around the Town Hall Square, where thousands of colorful people line the city center for the Parade on Saturday, August 18. Multiple parties will also be taking pale throughout the city. Fun Fact: Copenhagen Pride will be hosting World Pride in 2021!
For more information, visit www.copenhagenpride.dk/#!/en/home

Caribbean Pride — September 15 thru September 22
This year CHIC Punta Cana is excited to bring back their second annual Caribbean Pride Week. This celebration of fun and inclusivity will include performances from world renowned DJ’s such as DJ Citizen Jane and Johnny Dynell, as well as electric drag performances from Toronto star Miss Conception. 
Check out our Travel Thursday: CHIC Resort Won Us Over With Its Staff, Relaxation, & Luxury post we did last year as well as the video of their weekly foam pool party and imagine it LGBT-ified.
For more information, visit www.caribbeanpride.com

Curacao Pride September 27 thru September 30 
Curacao Pride is a five-day celebration with plenty of parties and activities for both the local and international LGBTQ travelers. The highlights of the event include a Pride Walk, Beach Party and Pride Happy Hours. 
For more information, visit www.curacaopride.com

Where have you been out of state and out of country and out of June?  What as the best non-American Pride you've attended.  Help us plan the rest of this year and next!

If you have travel ideas, places we should visit, or work for a PR company and are looking for writers to visit, please reach out to customerservice@instinctmagazine.com and address your comments to the Managing Editor.