Timor Leste held their first Pride parade over the weekend and got a great turnout. Prime Minister Rui Maria De Araujo voiced his support for LGBT rights ahead of the celebrations.
“Everyone has the potential to contribute to the development of the nation, including members of the LGBT community,” De Araujo said in a video last week.
“Discrimination, disrespect and abuse towards people because of their sexual orientation or gender identity does not provide any benefit to our nation.”
Natalino Ornai Guterres, the Chief Coordinator of Hatutan Youth, who organised the event, told OUTinPerth that the Pride celebrations had been a great success.
“There were about 500 to 1,000 people attending the week-long pride event. We had a discussion session on the topic of creating a safe environment for LGBT youth, and then a Pride march, followed by a concert.” Guterres said.
The country had held its first pride related event in 2016, but this year the festivities included a march through the streets of Dili. The parade was led by a marching band and hundreds of people joined in.
Gutterres told us that Hatutan means “connect” in English and the organisation aims to support young Timorese and encourage inclusiveness. Read more via Out in Perth