Kosovo Pride Parade: “Bashkë dhe krenarë”
Yesterday, under the slogan “Bashkë dhe krenarë” (Together and proud), activists, supporters and allies of the LGBTIQ+ community filled the main squares of Pristina for Kosovo’s Pride Parade.
Organized for the fifth time, this time Kosovo joined many countries in the world that mark the “Month of Pride” during June through celebration, protest and pride parades, as acts of recognition, celebration and resistance of LGBTIQ + persons over the years. In recent days, within Pride Week, a range of activities were held in Prishtina, including, among others, discussions, exhibitions and artistic performances.
Beyond solidarity and commitment to the protection and advancement of LGBTIQ + rights, Pride Week is also an important “test” for institutional support. Prior to this test, institutional representatives are placed especially when it comes to their (non) presence in the Parade.
And over the past five years, institutional leaders have largely supported Pride Week, calling for the protection and respect of diversity, which has often been used as a ‘replacement’ term for LGBTIQ + people. Although such commitments are mentioned only during their speeches or through their presence in the Parade, public support from the leading positions of the state, however superficial, is extremely necessary and important. This is especially true for the Kosovo context, given the many challenges faced by LGBTIQ + persons such as: systemic violence, repeated verbal and physical violence by homophobes or transphobes, lack of safe and welcoming public spaces, lack of access to employment, health , housing, to name just a few.