The complete guide to Prague's LGBTQ+ community for English speakers

Prague Off the Map offers some tips and resources for LGBTQ+ Praguers and their friends, families, and allies

Amanda Bell

Written by Amanda Bell
Published on 03.08.2020 10:34 (updated on 19.09.2020)

The LGBTQ+ community has expanded and changed significantly over the past ten years. As a queer expat who has lived in Prague for 15 years, I have seen some of these changes first-hand: from full-blown pride parades to queer parties to organizations that fight for trans rights and marriage equality. This guide is meant to be a resource for anyone who is searching for the LGBTQ+ community in Prague or for allies who would like to get involved.

Prague Pride

A photo of Prague Pride 2019.
A photo of Prague Pride 2019.

It goes without saying that Prague Pride is practically the main event in the LGBTQ+ community in the Czech Republic each year. However, this hasn’t always been the case as Prague Pride has only been an official event since 2011. The organizers have done an amazing job transforming it into a mainstream event; take 2019, for example, when 30,000 people attended the parade. In addition to the parade, the week-long program offers something for everyone and includes film screenings, talks, exhibits, drag shows, and more.

Alt*Pride

A photo of AltPride 2019/ via Facebook

For those who are critical of the commercial and mainstream aspect of the main Prague Pride, Alt*Pride, organized at the same time in August, is another way to get involved. As Alt*Pride writes on their website, “We want to show that the queer identity should not be a commodity or a marketing ploy or a theme for ‘corporate responsibility.’” Alt*Pride’s aim is also to explore crucial issues, such as ethnicity and class, which unfortunately are not given as much attention at the main pride event.

Cultural Events

Mezipatra Queer Film Festival/ photo via Facebook

In addition to Pride, there are many cultural events organized in the community each year. Mezipatra Queer Film Festival will always be near and dear to my heart as it was the first LGBTQ+ event that I attended as a new queer in the city.

I would venture to say that Mezipatra is as much of a queer institution in Prague, if not more, than Prague Pride. This is due to its long history – last year Mezipatra celebrated its 20th festival edition.

Mezipatra lovingly brings the community together through an eclectic program of not only a diverse set of films but also lectures, exhibits, and parties. Another project of Mezipatra’s is their new film distribution company called Queer Kino, which now means that we can watch queer films in local movie theaters throughout the year.

The Gay Agenda is a rather new, albeit welcome addition to Prague’s LGBTQ+ cultural scene. Started in 2019 by an American expat, The Gay Agenda organizes stand-up comedy shows, talent shows, viewing parties of Rupaul’s Drag Race, and drag events as well. Get your tickets early though – shows tend to sell out!

Organizations & Groups

Trans*parent Prague/ photo via Facebook

The amount of LGBTQ+ organizations and groups in Prague is surely more extensive than those that will be mentioned here. So, if you are looking for something specific, do your research and you might be surprised what you find.

Let’s start with Trans*parent, an organization that has done so much needed work with and for the trans and non-cis community. Trans*parent advocates for the trans community through various activities, such as gender equality training for schools and corporations and media outreach.  Notably, the organization offers support groups to adults, teens, and families of transgender people and there are even free counseling services available in both Czech and English.

University organizations like Charlie and Galibi are doing their part to give students a sense of community in higher education and beyond. Charlie has now been around for 10 years and meets up on Tuesdays typically at a local gay bar and even organizes a so-called “Night Out” twice a month, which is primarily geared towards English speakers. Galibi is a student club at ČVUT that puts together an array of activities from bowling to weekend stays at a cottage. I was told by a representative of Charlie that anyone is welcome (non-students and older folks alike) and, according to their website, the same holds true for Galibi.

Jsme fér/ photo via Facebook

Next up is Jsme fér, a coalition of organizations that lobbies for marriage equality in the Czech Republic. You can get involved by joining any one of their protests or by donating to the cause. PROUD also advocates for marriage equality, while it branches out into other areas and issues such as LGBTQ+ parenting.

Although not really a formal organization per se, but definitely a resource that expats and Czechs alike can benefit from is the Facebook group “Queers Expats in Prague.” This group is an excellent way to make friends in the community and to ask any queer-related questions. One other group I found while researching this article is Queer Praguer, which is a volunteer organization that “envisions a thriving, healthy, safe community for LGBTQ+ people in Prague.” Currently, you can join events like board game night, hikes, or beers in Letná.

Parties

Freedom Night Party on the boat/photo Petr Vor

The queer clubbing and partying scene has sure gotten a makeover the past few years and there are now a lot of more alternative options to your standard gay clubbing night. I’ve purposely left out an exhaustive list of bars and cafes because I think that people can find those places relatively easily on their own (if not, shameless plug to a list of a handful of places on my own website).

As for parties, let’s start with Freedom Night, which is the longest-running monthly party for lesbians in the city. The crowd is typically mostly Czech and the music is Top 40. Lick is a new party for lesbians that will have its debut at Swim in July 2020.

Pioneer Prague throws a bunch of “homo-friendly” clubbing nights that are known for their debaucherous fun at alternative venues like Ankali or Altenburg1964.

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Kinky Disco is another new party on the scene and now has 10 parties under its belt. Although not throwing parties as many parties as they used to, you can usually catch the self-proclaimed “very queer and drunk and a little arty” Queer Noises at pride.

Other resources

The Gender Studies Library has an amazing collection of literature, fiction, and non-fiction titles and very much feels like a safe space. It is possible to arrange for a library card and to check out books from their extensive library.

An excellent resource for aspiring parents and rainbow families is the support group organized by Prague Pride, although it is primarily for Czech speakers. Sessions cover issues such as how to talk to your kids about your family, dealing with various institutions (school, governmental offices, doctor), and family planning.

What resources and tips would you add to the list?