Tamar Agata Kapanadze – Lawyer, Human Rights Activist, Tbilisi Shelter City Communications Manager:
”Pride Week and its aftermath have shown me a lot, first of all, that the support and visibility of the queer community has increased significantly compared to previous years.
It was very exciting to see how many people declared their support for Tbilisi Pride and The March of Honor. However, I also saw unbridled hatred and the fact that there is no political incentive to protect the rights of queer people. For me, as a supporter of the queer community, a human rights activist, and an ordinary citizen, it was shocking and difficult to turn a blind eye to the July 5 violence. A brutal attack on journalists, the death of TV First’s cameraman Lekso Lashkarava, the persecution of people in the streets for piercings – I felt as if I woke up in a dystopia and was stubbornly trying to wake up. Were it not for hate groups encouraged by the patriarchate and the government, we would not have this reality.
These days were filled with amazingly conflicting emotions and stories – with great love, freedom, solidarity, hatred and cruelty. With sensations that will follow for a long time. I want to believe that soon there will be no more hatred in Georgian society. We will appreciate our diversity and all subsequent marches will be in a calm and tolerant environment. “