Malta was the hub of all things LGBTQIA+ in Europe this month as it hosted EuroPride, the continent’s largest queer celebration, in its capital city of Valletta.
Recognised as one of the most welcoming countries in Europe, Malta has topped ILGA-Europe’s annual ‘Rainbow Map and Index’ for eight years running. The list is a ranking of 49 European countries based on their respective legal and policy practices for LGBTQIA+ people, with Malta routinely hailed for its unwavering support of the LGBTQIA+ community.
The theme of this year’s EuroPride, ‘Equality from the Heart’, aimed to bring the Maltese and wider European LGBTQIA+ community together to celebrate diversity and advocate for equal rights, as well as a more inclusive world.
Against a backdrop of gorgeous 16th-century buildings and clear blue skies, more than 38,000 people marched in favour of love, equality and progressive policies at the parade on 16 September.
Themes of pinkwashing vs. authentic allyship, sex work, faith and LGBTQIA+ inclusion were at the forefront of discussions around human rights at EuroPride, all of which were rounded out with the performance of a lifetime from Christina Aguilera at the EuroPride Valletta 2023 Concert.
Here, GAY TIMES revisits some of the event’s best moments from EuroPride, where we were the event’s official media partner.
The Official EuroPride Valletta 2023 Opening Ceremony
With performances from the likes of Eurovision winner Netta and an array of beloved local artists, EuroPride kicked off with a bang. Thousands attended the event, which was both a party and a celebration of love, diversity and equality in Malta.
According to the event’s organisers, more than 38,000 people took to the streets of Floriana and Valletta to protest in favour of love and equality on 16 September. The official EuroPride march saw all aspects of the LGBTQIA+ community come together to celebrate their differences in the hope of a better future.
Human Rights Conference
For three days, an array of sessions were held on the state of LGBTQIA+ rights in Europe and beyond. Participants discussed things like sex work, the intersection of faith and sexuality and how to empower members of the community.
From Conchita Wurst to Katrina and the Waves, Eurovision fans were in for a treat when EuroPride held an entire night dedicated to the beloved Song Contest. Against the heavenly backdrop of Pjazza Tritoni in Valletta, thousands sung along to their favourite hits in what was one of EuroPride’s most unforgettable evenings.
EuroPride Valletta 2023 Concert headlined by Christina Aguilera
An array of performers delivered showstopping sets at the EuroPride Valletta 2023 Concert, which was topped off by a headline performance from global superstar and gay icon Christina Aguilera. From ‘Genie in a Bottle’ to ‘Fighter’, the crowd were treated to the show of a lifetime as Xtina ploughed through her endless stream of hits.