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21 May, 2024
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Paphos city hall to raise rainbow flag

Grassroots efforts and social activism bring Pride officially to western Cyprus


The City of Paphos will raise the rainbow flag for the first time on May 25, as Cyprus celebrates diversity and acceptance this month with many activites aimed at raising social awareness.

The Paphos branch of Accept LGBT Cyprus is organising Pride flag-raising celebrations in Paphos and Yeroskipou with the active support from the two municipalities and the government.

But this is not the first time that rainbow colours fly in the western town. The Pride flag was raised last year solo by social activist Zacharias Theophanous who took to social media to share his personal journey in trying to get an event organised in his town.

Knews understands his efforts were pivotal in getting city officials to offer their support, paving the way for an official flag raising event next week.

Theophanous' efforts were pivotal in getting city officials to offer their support, paving the way for an official flag raising event next week

This year, on Friday May 25, Yeroskipou Mayor Michalis Pavlides will raise the Pride flag outside City Hall at 11am, and later at 5pm Paphos Mayor Phedonas Phedonos will do the honours in his town.

The Pride festival began May 12 and will run through June 3, filled with festivities, parties, pet friendly programmes, and discussion panels among other activities. The aim is to provide opportunities for people to socialise and also raise awareness about the challenges in the LGBT community.

A march will take place on June 3 in Nicosia, where several thousands of people are expected to join.

This year theme is “Make the Change” and the programme is under the auspices of President Nicos Anastasiades and Nicosia Mayor Constantinos Yiorkatzis, who are joined by two dozens of sponsors in what has become a widely-accepted tradition of social activism on the island.

The co-organizers of Pride 2018 are the European Parliament Information Office in Cyprus, the European Commission, and the US Embassy in Nicosia.

The theme “Make the Change” on the main poster also appears in the two official languages of Cyprus, Greek (Kane tin Allagi) and Turkish (Degisimi Yarat).

John Theophanous flies rainbow flag solo in Paphos May 2017

(Photo credit: John Theophanous, Paphos, May 2017)

Cyprus  |  pride  |  LGBT  |  human rights  |  gay  |  lesbian  |  equality  |  acceptance  |  tolerance

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