Wednesday 17 May 2023 – For the fifth year running, the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) and Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB) are taking part in the Belgian and European Pride. As urban engaged universities, the two Brussels institutions are participating in the demonstration on 20 May in Brussels to defend gender freedom and diversity, combat stereotypes and break taboos for the LGBTQIA+ community. Because while both universities have always been active advocates of equal rights for LGBT people, long before the legislature allowed it, the battle is still not over.
The theme chosen by the Belgian and European Pride 2023 is Protect the Protest, the slogan of Amnesty International’s campaign. Protesting is a fundamental human right that must be defended.
“By participating in Belgian and European Pride, VUB, as an open-minded university, is embracing all forms of diversity,” explains VUB rector Jan Danckaert. “We believe every person is unique and deserves equal respect. Everyone is welcome on our campus, regardless of their origin, gender or sexual orientation. Because what does it matter? Love and diversity make life beautiful and interesting. We should all embrace both.”
Annemie Schaus, rector of ULB, adds: “Human rights are threatened all over the world, and attacks on people’s dignity are happening everywhere. Our university will, in line with its previous engagement, stand by the side of participants in the Belgian Pride to defend respect for and inclusion of LGBTQI+ people. Everyone, without exception, is entitled to the benefit of equality!”
Saturday 20 May – Central Brussels – parade leaves at 14.30 from Ravensteinstraat.
As engaged universities, VUB and ULB are also taking part in various other activities.
- From 10 May, rainbow flags have been flying on our campuses.
- With the Foreign Affairs ministry and WeKonekt (VUB), Forbidden Colours has organised the conference United4Diversity, an event focusing on democratic security and European/democratic values. A number of VUB academics will take part in the working groups and formulate action points (11-13 October).
- The exhibition Brussels Queer Graphics looks back at 70 years of LGBTQI visual expression in Brussels (Design Museum Brussels, from 16 May until the end of the summer).
- The round table Research for Intersex Justice (Maison des Sciences Humaines, Solbosch campus, ULB, 19 May from 12.00-14.00)