Pride 2011 celebrations will conclude this evening after what organisers are calling the “most successful” festival of its kind seen in the Kingdom, with an estimated 1,300 people attending nine days of event.
Pride committee member Srun Srorn, 30, who helped organise the festivities geared towards celebrating the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities, said this year has been a triumph for the festival.
“This year we expanded our reach beyond Phnom Penh, collaborated with international LGBT communities, and we had more people than ever,” he said.
Pride activities were held outside the capital for the first time, in locations such as Siem Reap, Battambang and Banteay Meanchey.
Srun Srorn said that participants in smaller communities tended to assume a low-profile, playing a DVD from the festival held last year in Phnom Penh, followed by group discussions.
“Three major points were addressed this year, including LGBT acceptance in families and greater society, along with issues surrounding human rights and gender equality, and cultural taboos,” he said.
Collette O’Regan, 42, also a committee member, said that the term ‘Pride’ means different things to different people.
“For me, Pride is creating a safe place for LGBT to come together and celebrate with others, including their friends and family, in an open way,” she said.
“After three or four days, people realise that Cambodian LGBT aren’t doing any harm.”
The two organisers are part of a 30-member committee, that forms part of a larger non-profit organisation called Rainbow Community Kampuchea.
The last day of festivities coincides with International Day Against Homophobia, a global campaign held each year on May 17 to promote awareness for sexual diversity.
The finale of Pride Film Fest will be held tonight at Meta House, with a documentary screening followed by a discussion between NGO representatives and activists on the LGBT issues in Cambodia.