Sofia Pride 2021 gathered close to 10,000 people and called for the legalisation of same-sex partnerships and criminalisation of anti-LGBTI hate crimes, since Bulgaria is one of the six countries in the EU without any law recognising rainbow families.
A string of homophobic incidents and attacks followed the pride celebrations in Bulgaria in the recent weeks. Just hours before the start of Sofia Pride, there was a demonstration in defence of the traditional Christian Bulgarian family and other demonstrations of ultra-nationalist parties and groups – presumably, apart from its traditional homophobic messages also seeing the event this year as a chance to try to drum up votes ahead of the July elections.
Some of the recent homophobic attacks in Bulgaria over the past more than four weeks include - attacks (throwing eggs, cucumbers, stones, and a smoke-bomb) on participants of the first ever Burgas Pride; disruptions of multiple book presentations, movie screenings in various locations across Bulgaria; vandalising multiple LGBTI community spaces and gay-friendly business in Sofia and many others.
The intolerance shown by such groups is a strong proof of why Sofia Pride is still a necessary campaign tool in Bulgaria.