EuroPride Dances in the Streets of Rome – On Scene with Bill Wilson

EuroPride parade marchers dancing in the street.
Photo By Bill Wilson © 2011

By Bill Wilson
Sentinel Photojournalist
Bill Wilson © 2011

The EuroPride Parade was -as has been my experience at previous gay marches in Rome in 2000 and 2008 – not so much a march as a dance that flows in a forward direction.

A happy face with something to sing about
Photo By Bill Wilson © 2011

I think the parade captures that energy that abounds after that first burst through the closet door, although the fact that they allow beer vendors to be part of the march probably doesn’t hurt the spirit of the marchers! It is just fun to be there.

Lesbian group carries flag during the march
Photo By Bill Wilson © 2011

That is not to say that there aren’t serious groups that march in support of equality for all. There was a float in memory of David Kato an activist who was murdered in Uganda. LGBT Christian groups marched behind Father John McNeill, who had been honored earlier in the week. Various Arcigay groups from all over Italy were evident by their banners.

Arcigay Pescara. The sign reads “Ratziinger love your neighbor, not like Hilter”
Photo By Bill Wilson © 2011

By float they mean a large diesel truck pulling a flat bed trailer that is filled with people from various groups, organizations and businesses. People on the floats are about ten feet above the crowds.

Giulio Spatola, Mr Gay Europe 2010 and Francois Nels, Mr Gay World are two
of the people aboard the float that represented the groups sponsoring EuroPride
Photo By Bill Wilson © 2011

One of the floats was populated by bears, another by people into leather. Various gay restaurants and bars were among those sponsoring floats.

International Mr. Leather 2011 Eric Guttierez
Photo By Bill Wilson © 2011

I have yet to hear of any crowd estimates. I don’t now whether that is because there were none done or whether they are still counting. My personal estimate is that it was not quite as big as the World Pride march in 2000, but I would say in the hundreds of thousands.

The reason the word Glad can be found in Gladiator. As in “Glad to see you.”
Photo By Bill Wilson © 2011

In 2000 the World Pride March was not permitted to circle the Coliseum, this time they were and it was a meaningful sight to walk down the Via Dei Fori Imperiali past the ancient Roman ruins.

Happy couple
Photo By Bill Wilson © 2011

Italy is one of the few European countries that has made no progress in the area of civil rights for the GLBT community because of the influence of the Catholic Church. Hopefully with international events like EuroPride that will begin to change.

The point of Pride marches is so perhaps when this baby grows up
he/she will know a world without discrimination
Photo By Bill Wilson © 2011

Next year’s EuroPride will take place in London just ahead of the Olympic summer games andd will combined with World Pride.

Kate and Will impersonators. Maybe the real Duke and Duchess will show up
next year in London.
Photo By Bill Wilson © 2011

See Related: On Scene with Bill Wilson Archive

Sentinel Photojournalist
Bill Wilson is a San Francisco-based veteran photojournalist. Bill embraced photojournalism at the age of eight. In recent years, his photos capture historic record of the San Francisco LGBT community in the Bay Area Reporter (BAR), The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The San Francisco Examiner, SFist, SFAppeal. Bill has contributed to the Sentinel for the past seven years. Email Bill Wilson at

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