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Shortly after the Regenbogenball 2016, about 18 months after the start of my assignment at the Embassy of Canada to Austria, I sent the following message to Christian Högl (from HOSI Wien): “Based on recent initiatives by some of my colleagues elsewhere in Europe, I had an idea for a ‘Diplomats for Equality’ contingent in the Regenbogenparade which I have already discussed with some counterparts from other Embassies here in Vienna. Diplomats (including Ambassadors) from several countries, all marching under the same banner waving their national flags… I’d be willing to take the lead and coordinate such an initiative when the time comes. I think we could easily get at least 8-10 countries – probably more!” Christian said he liked this beautiful idea – and we left it at that. Little did I know that, for the first time on June 17, 2017, representatives from 30 Embassies, Delegations and Permanent Missions would join forces to issue a statement expressing their support for Vienna Pride, and take part as a joint contingent of ‘Diplomats for Equality!’ in the Regenbogenparade! It took a lot of work and was the result of a tremendous team effort – but what a beautiful day it was indeed… I couldn’t be happier that this wonderful initiative has outlived the duration of my time in Vienna, is there to stay and now in very capable hands that will turn it into an even bigger success for a 2nd edition in 2018!

Long live Diplomats for Equality!

Jonathan Sauvé
Founder of «Diplomats for Equality»