From Vienna: To Russia With Love

Vienna To Russia


An eclectic group of protesters – transgender, gay and straight – took advantage of Russian President, Vladimir Putin’s brief visit to Vienna on Tuesday afternoon to demonstrate against Russia’s harsh anti-gay propaganda laws.

Vienna on the March, Gaily

I’m probably glad I missed this event in Vienna, not being a huge fan of huge crowds.  We left on Tuesday the 10th. just in time for the festivities to begin.


More than 150,000 people took part in the 18th edition of the Vienna gay pride parade this weekend.

The organiser Christian Högl of the Vienna homosexual initiative (HOSI) said this edition of the parade which saw masses of people travel around Vienna’s Ring road was one of the most successful to date.

The parade was lead by the Pride Boys and Pride Girls, followed by a mixture of trucks, motorbikes and various pedestrian groups.

The costumes this year included everything from naked skin to overall latex-costumes from queens and angels. Rainbow body paint was also very popular this year.

Even in the party atmosphere and the sunshine, participants made very clear they were protesting against discrimination against homosexual and transgender individuals under the motto “United in Pride”.

There were divided opinions amongst the spectators along the Ring. One woman said: “I came by chance. I actually wanted to go to the museum. I just don’t understand their requests.”

A Swiss tourist on the other hand said: “I am enjoying the day.”

Vienna Times

But all was not gay. In fact a lesbian Member of the European Parliament in attendance was attacked with a stinking but not corrosive acid.

Austria’s Green MEP Ulrike Lunacek has spoken of her disappointment following a butyric acid attack on her at Vienna’s gay pride on Saturday. Vienna Times

Simple, Unexpected Acts And Mighty Winds of Change

I’ve seen obituaries in several places for a woman I had never heard of but who, by her simple act of making herself visible, may have set in motion the winds of change that have brought homosexuals out of the backwaters of contempt and hatred into more-or-less normalized participation in the main stream of American life.

Her name was Jeanne Manford.  She had a son.  She loved him and she said so, publicly,  when most Americans loathed him and ‘his kind.’

Mrs. Manford was a mother of three and a New York City elementary school teacher when her defiance in the face of violence thrust her onto the national stage and led her to found an organization known as PFLAG, which now has more than 200,000 members and more than 350 affiliates across the nation.

In April 1972, one of her sons, the late Morty Manford, was beaten at a gay rights demonstration in New York by a former amateur boxing champion, and police failed to respond, Swan said.

Mrs. Manford penned a letter to the New York Post later that month that read: “I have a homosexual son, and I love him.”

Not long after, she marched with her son in New York’s Christopher Street Liberation Day March, a precursor to present day Pride parades, carrying a sign saying: “Parents of gays: Unite in support for our children.”

“She never thought twice about it. She fought for him,” Swan recalled. “This was a 5-foot-2, thin, blond woman who had a spine of steel. She just did what she knew to be right.”

Participants flocked to Mrs. Manford during the parade, hugging her and begging her to talk to their parents, according to the organization.

SF Gate: 

Love on its feet. Many miles traveled.