The LGBTI movement in Kosovo is about to mark a pivotal moment, with the announcement that a Pride Parade will take place next Tuesday (Oct. 10). After marches in each of the past three years on May 17 to mark the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia, this will be the first LGBTI parade in Kosovo.
The parade will start at 11:30 in Skanderbeg Square and will end with a short concert in Zahir Pajaziti Square.
All around the world, Pride parades, known also as Pride marches and Pride festivals, are events that celebrate LGBTI culture and pride, diversity and freedom. The national parades are also a stance against discrimination and violence towards LGBTI persons, while increasing their visibility as a social group and promoting equal rights.
Each country that celebrates Pride — in the region and around the world — has their own national day on which they celebrate; with today’s announcement, October 10 will become Kosovo’s national LGBTI Pride Parade day.
With the moto “In the Name of Love,” Pride Week — a series of events and actions focused on LGBTI culture and rights — will also take place from Oct. 6-9.
“This moto aims to raise the awareness of citizens to show that the LGBT community, and the whole of society, can love, and to stop the prejudices of Kosovar society toward the community,” reads the press release launched today by the Pride organizers, which include LGBTI rights groups as well as other organizations that work for human and civil rights. “Also, the relevant institutions are invited to become more engaged in the implementation of laws and strategies on the prevention of violence toward the LGBT community, as well as in offering services for the protection and wellbeing of victims.”
Organizers are inviting all Kosovar citizens to join the Pride Parade in order to make a more vocal movement, and for society to become more tolerant and accepting toward diversity and love.
The press release also highlights a 2015 survey conducted by the National Democratic Institute, which analyzed public opinion of LGBTI persons in the Western Balkans; according to the research, Kosovo is the most homophobic country in the region, with LGBTI persons being discriminated against in all spheres of life.
The organizers of the Pride Parade are listed as: Center for Social Group Development (CSGD), Center for Equal Rights (CEL), Kosova Women’s Network, Center for Art and Community — ARTPOLIS, Youth Initiative for Human Rights (YIHR) — Kosovo, Kosovar Youth Council (KYC), Kosovar Gender Studies Center, Equal Rights for All Coalition (ERAC), University Program for Gender Studies and Research, Alter Habitus and the “Qashtu qysh jom” group.K
Feature image: Atdhe Mulla / K2.0.