The Eurofaeries have made their first appearance at the fringes of mainstream gay life in Austria – and at Vienna Pride on City Hall Square, no less – the most public place in Vienna, where the Lifeball is also traditionally held.
The public reaction was surprisingly positive. Most stopped briefly to gaze curiously, wondering whether they had read it right … “Radical Faeries”? – they had never read anything like that before. A lot of people checked us out from a distance – building a spontaneous, superficial opinion about who they thought we might be: either a “travel agency” or a “partner club”, punks, hippies, transvestites, a sect, an artist group, “radicals” or simply “three stupid sissies”.
The Eurofaerie’s tent was different from the other conventional groups if not simply because of the altar made of simple gold fabric with the words “freedom, love, respect the faerie in you and in others”.
The ones who gave in to their curiosity and entered our tent for more information and to have a look at all the photos soon had a spark in their eyes. “There’s something about the faerie concept, you are a really dedicated group, a great stand!”. The history of the faeries and why we are called faeries got many people thinking.
The thing the Austrian faeries most wanted here was to give potential Austrian faeries the chance to discover themselves and other faeries, to network among each other, to meet and say for once: we really exist! It is very important to us to have a safe, trusted place, to create a “faerie space” where everyone can develop his or her unique self – which naturally can’t be where the public and the media are. But when the radio broadcaster FM4 interviewed us about what the faeries really are, that was OK.
VIENNA’S DEPUTY MAYOR VASSILAKOU VISITS THE EUROFAERIE TENT
We thought it was a very positive sign that Vienna’s Deputy Mayor from the Austrian Green Party visited us and listened to us openly. We told her that we thought the reason why the faerie movement hadn’t made its way to Austria yet is because respecting the individuality or otherness of other people is not really anchored in the collective consciousness of most Austrians. The word “radical” also confused a lot of people, since it actually has negative connotations in everyday use – but the faeries use it more like the Latin “radix”, which means from the root or origin.
We were struck by the superficiality of many people who walked by, who put anything unknown, like the faeries, into a box, without being willing to delve into its origin. This concept that “Outward appearance is the only thing that matters” is still far too prevalent in Austria. If you don’t fit into a “box”, especially most of the media outlets will immediately cancel out. But we still met a few really nice and open people, a few of whom even said they were actually faeries, too.
We think it was a good start and a good showing of the faeries in Austria. We moved something in the minds of the people, made contacts, and started something new in the community.
WE ARE PROUD TO BE THE FIRST AUSTRIAN FAERIES !