After a successful first edition last year, Pride Park Firenze returns this summer with a revamped formula: an entire month of DJ sets, performances by Italian and international artists, parties, talks, debates and book presentations to foster a dialogue between entertainment and LGBTQI* culture. Valeria Santini is the event manager and one of the many figures behind Azione Gay e Lesbica Firenze, a non-profit association that has been promoting the wellbeing of Florence’s lesbian and gay community since 1989.
Vincenzo D’Angelo: Pride Park is returning for an entire month. What’s new? Tell me a bit about this year’s edition.
Valeria Santini: Last year was great. It was the first Pride held in Florence, an overwhelming moment. This year we have decided to enhance the whole experience and we have a place where you can come and have a good time, meet new people and be yourself. The program is wide-ranging and includes entertainment and educational activities focused on raising awareness of LGBTQI topics, like civil unions, adoptions, homophobia and more.
VD: Will there still be that interesting dialogue between entertainment and culture?
VS: Absolutely yes. The first half of the week will be dedicated to workshops, debates and meetings. We will discuss gender identity, coming out, gay rights and adoptions. Plenty of associations and no-profit organizations will be there with their stands to inform and offer their support. There will also be yoga and fitness classes, dinners and special activities for the kids. Friday and Saturday is all about music with famous Italian and international DJs, concerts and private parties. Our main goal is to embrace and celebrate every nuance of our culture, as if they were the colors of the rainbow.
VD: Thousands of people flocked to the streets of Florence last year for Toscana Pride. Have you ever thought about organizing a “Firenze Pride”?
VS: Toscana Pride is organized by LGBTQI groups from all over Tuscany with the aim of bringing our culture to every city of the region, including the smaller towns. This year we are celebrating in Arezzo, a beautiful little town in the Valdarno area. Everyone is invited! Last year was phenomenal, so I’m certain that it will come back to Florence again in the future.