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18.06.2021
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THE PRIDE COLLECTION

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At Essentiel Antwerp, we all parade our pride. Antwerp Pride is a local initiative —close to our heart— that supports the equality and acceptance of the LGBTQIA+ community. We sat down with Antwerp Pride’s chairman Bart Abeel to get to know more about Antwerp Pride and the battles they’re fighting.
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This year’s theme of Antwerp Pride is #notjustwords. Can you tell us more about it?

Bart Abeel — This year’s theme is not accompanied by major demands or strong calls for action, but it does express a genuine concern regarding hate, bullying and discrimination on social media. With the slogan #notjustwords, Antwerp Pride wants to express their concern for this theme. The way we treat each other starts with ourselves. So, we hope people think about what they say, about how they express themselves. Think twice before hitting that post button because words are #notjustwords.



How did Antwerp Pride evolve? In which direction do you want to go?

Bart Abeel — Antwerp Pride commemorates and celebrates the long journey towards acceptance and equal opportunities the LGBTQIA+ community has made. A journey that continues, for acceptance is never a given. There is still exclusion, discrimination, and violence against LGBTQIA+ both in our country and abroad. By giving a platform to the many voices within our community we wish to empower our community, educate, sensitize the public and build bridges between the many actors in our society.

As a volunteer organization, we take great pride in building a community throughout our events. Antwerp Pride originates from the LGBTQIA+ community but actively seeks alliances with all people and organizations within the city that share our passion for a diverse, inclusive, and engaged city. In doing so, Antwerp Pride has built an event that attracts thousands of people to the city every year.

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"As a volunteer organization, we take great pride in building a community throughout our events."
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"By giving a platform to the many voices within our community, we wish to empower our community, educate, sensitize the public and build bridges between the many actors in our society."
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How does Essentiel Antwerp contribute to Antwerp Pride?

Bart Abeel — For us, the contribution and support of Essentiel Antwerp is particularly valuable because it is not a "classic sponsorship". Essentiel Antwerp actually supports our operation, message, and image.

If there is something we should be proud of in Antwerp, it’s the creativity and global quality of fashion and Essentiel Antwerp is a fine example of this. Inge (co-founder and creative director Ed.) proves with her company and her business culture that inclusion and diversity contribute to successful and creative entrepreneurship.

That’s why we are particularly proud that a special Antwerp Pride T-shirt with topical slogans in line with our mission has been designed, for the third year in a row already. The proceeds of these T-shirts go entirely to our organization. And that really is a special and exceptional initiative.

But what touched us the most, is the creation and donation of special volunteer T-shirts. Since we run virtually 100% on the efforts of volunteers, this means a lot to us. It gives our entire team a very special sense of pride.... of Antwerp Pride.

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