Last night I was fortunate enough to attend the second annual Monaco Pride, and I have to say, it was one of the most memorable Pride events I have ever experienced.
One could feel a sense of optimism and camaraderie as everyone gathered in the main social area of the hotel, set aside especially for those of us in attendance.
Over 150 representatives of the State, including three National Council members, public authorities such as the Department of External Relations, the Directorate of Judicial Services, the Directorate of National Education, Youth & Sports, the Office of the High Commissioner for the Protection of Human Rights and Freedoms and the French Ambassador to Monaco honoured the event with their presence, along with various business owners, volunteers, and the Monegasque community celebrating the second edition of Monaco Pride on Thursday, June 1 at the Hotel Novotel (the first Monaco Pride took place in June 2022 at Stars’n’Bars).
Speakers included Gérald Mathieu, CEO of Barclays Private Bank Monaco, Hervé Aeschbach, Fight Aids Association coordinator, Guillaume Rapin, General Manager of Novotel Monaco, and the phenomenal Annette Anderson, who in my opinion is the glue that keeps us all together.
Barclays Bank and Novotel have dynamic programmes set in place to encourage diversity and inclusion in the workplace and their efforts were greatly appreciated by all.
Speakers highlighted positive developments in Monaco for the LGTBQIA+ community, including the support of Princess Stéphanie and her family for the Fight Aids Association. Also mentioned was the participation of the ASM Football Club, which in recent years has worn rainbow-decorated shirts on the International Day Against Homophobia every May 17th.
In 2022, the European Commission Against Racism and Tolerance (ECRI) asked Monaco to examine and eliminate unjustified differences in rights between same-sex and opposite-sex couples. And although signs of progress have been made, there is still more to do.
This past April, the Commission organised a round table in Monaco to discuss its recommendations with representatives of the Principality’s government and community.
All the speakers on Thursday evening agreed that diversity, inclusion, and equal civil rights for all Monegasque workers were essential elements of a growing economy and a healthy community.
This Pride event is sponsored by Barclays Private Bank and the Fight Aids Association. This year, during the month of June, the front façade of Barclays Bank will be illuminated in rainbow colours to mark Pride Month.
With positivity, we all look forward to what is yet to come by working towards equality together and by presenting Monaco as a gay-friendly and safe place for visitors.
All photos © Frédéric Nebinger