Reaction to the founding of organization “Pride Parade Belgrade”

Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) is extremely surprised at the information that a new organization has already been founded and registered which will deal with organizing the Belgrade Pride Parade, especially because a large number of existing LGBT activists and organizations, including GSA, were not informed about the founding of this new organization.

Namely, Gay Straight Alliance had immediately after the first Pride Parade in October 2010 issued an invitation to all LGBT organizations in Serbia, for a meeting to discuss the held Parade and the suggestion to form a new organization or body, which would in the future deal only with organizing Pride Parades, as is the practice all over the world, and which would be comprised of representatives of existing organizations and/or individuals who wish to take part in this activity.

GSA made this suggestion as an organization which made up a significant part of the Organizational Board of Pride Parade 2010, bearing in mind all the experience from this as well as the previous events, with the desire to include more interested organizations and individuals in the organizing of future Parades, according to a model which would be acceptable for all, since holding Pride Parades is in the interest of the entire LGBT movement.

As the meeting did not take place at that time, GSA again issued another invitation three days ago, suggesting that the meeting be held at the beginning of March because of the deadlines for preparing the Parade and the time required to have all the organizations agree on a model of future functioning within the new organization or body, and to decide how they wish to be involved in the Pride Parade.

For this reason we were very surprised to learn from the Queeria Center that a new organization had already been registered two months ago, and that GSA, as the initiator of this idea, was not even informed about it.

After looking into the register of organizations on the website of The Serbian Business Registers Agency (APR), GSA discovered that the organization „Parada ponosa – Beograd“ (Pride Parade – Belgrade) was not registered two months ago as claimed but only a few days after Pride Parade 2010, more specifically on 16 October 2010 (!?) and that its official representative is no other than Slobodan Stojanović, president of Queeria Center. Furthermore, in contacting many other LGBT organizations yesterday, GSA discovered that they likewise have not been informed about this new organization.

The public is aware that Gay Straight Alliance was the initiator and bearer of the organization of Pride Parade held on the 10 October 2010, and that GSA provided through its activities the political and the logistic support necessary for holding this event. It is also indisputable that Queeria Center, Support Group for Gay Men and other LGBT and nongovernmental organizations contributed to this event, the result of which, after a few failed attempts in previous years, was an important step forward in organizing the first Pride Parade in Serbia.

GSA wanted to believe that after this step it was possible to also achieve a breakthrough in the way LGBT movement itself functions, and that we would overcome previous practices of arguing amongst ourselves and forgetting the final goals, values and ideas.

However, after this new organization was registered in such an extremely improper and intriguing manner, GSA feels that its initial idea about mutual cooperation has been rendered void, just as any further involvement in this newly formed organization on the part of GSA, because it cannot cooperate with those whom it does not trust any more. Unfortunately, with this move of its former partners it is not only Gay Straight Alliance that has been wronged but also other organizations and individuals, LGBT population, and the idea of fighting for human rights of LGBT people.

Due to the steadiness and responsible behaviour of GSA and its members evinced many times before, Gay Straight Alliance does not wish to enter into any further controversy or contribute to even greater damage. Even though after the above mentioned way of treatment GSA does not see itself in such an organization of the Pride Parade, GSA is still determined to continue through its numerous activities to work on improving the status of LGBT population in Serbia in the same way as it has done so far and which has proved very successful.

GSA will, of course, always support the idea of holding the Pride Parade and will attend this event regardless of who organizes it.

GSA Info Center