The weeklong activities of the 5th Cyprus Pride Festival peaked on Sunday with a Pride Parade in Nicosia, where Eurovision singer Eleni Foureira also showed up and gave a pep talk to cheering fans.
Supporters and allies, people from all walks of life were in attendance at the pride festival, including political figures and members of parliament. Speeches and presentations were later followed by a party at the Nicosia municipal garden.
Foureira, the Greek-Albanian singer who represented Cyprus in the Eurovision contest last month, grabbed the microphone for a few minutes.
“Be proud of who you are, you have nothing to fear, nothing and nobody can tell you what you need to do in your life, this is your decision,” Foureira said.
'Be proud of who you are, you have nothing to fear, nothing and nobody can tell you what you need to do in your life, this is your decision,' Foureira said.
She also touched on the gender identity issue, which is a topic of social debate, saying people should be allowed to decide for themselves how they should be addressed on their identity documents.
Transport Minister Vassiliki Anastasiadou also addressed the crowd on behalf of President Nicos Anastasiades.
The minister spoke of government efforts to cultivate respect for human rights and diversity, praising legislation on domestic partnerships, which passed into law last year.
Anastasiadou also made references to the criminalisation of hate speech especially against sexual orientation and gender identity.
The government is trying to do more, according to the minister, in implementing the law in more practical ways.
Anastasiadou also said that a bill on gender identity will be heading to the House while a national committee will be put together for the promotion of multiculturalism and diversity.
Cultivating the full respect of human rights and accepting diversity by everyone “constitutes the cornerstone of this government’s social philosophy and approach,” she said.
This year’s pride theme is "Make The Change".