Press release regarding the case of Stefan Radović

Regarding various pieces of information that have appeared in the media in the past few weeks about the case of Stefan Radović, a young gay man from Kuršumlija, Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) would like to inform the public on several facts.

GSA began communication with Radović immediately after the weekly newspaper NIN published an interview where Radović spoke about the problems and the unpleasantness that he has been experiencing for years in his community because of his sexual orientation. Already then GSA offered him help bearing in mind the possible consequences due to widespread homophobia and GSA’s experience in similar cases.

After leaving Kuršumlija, Radović, with the help of Committee for Human Rights Niš and Gay Straight Alliance, came to Belgrade, where GSA provided him with accommodation and necessary financial aid for the first week. GSA’s team for socio-psychological support continuously worked with Radović the whole time since his arrival in Belgrade in order to identify the priorities in the assistance he might require. GSA also considered possible options to find a more stable solution for his accommodation and financial support, with the aim of achieving faster independence, i.e. finishing school and finding work.

Since the protocol of GSA in cases like this one also includes mediation with parents wherever possible, contact and cooperation with Stefan’s family was established, followed by communication between them.

Besides GSA and Committee for Human Rights Niš, another organization – Safe Pulse of Youth, Belgrade – joined in the action of assisting Stefan Radović, as well as several individuals who offered temporary housing or financial help for him.

After a one-week adaptation period, Radović was offered options, in accordance with GSA’s capabilities, for the following period, and from these options he chose one that was the most acceptable to him and that included accommodation in Belgrade and covering the basic cost of living by GSA.
GSA would therefore like to emphasise that certain media stories that have appeared – saying that he does not have „a roof over his head“ or where to live, so he is „forced“ to go back to Kuršumlija – are false.

Namely, Stefan Radović decided, after spending several days in his new accommodation, to return to Kuršumlija, because, according to him, he wishes to live by himself and not with a roommate as was the case in this option.

Bearing all this in mind, GSA does not quite understand the reasons behind making the above-stated false claims. GSA would like to emphasise that the case of Stefan Radović is not the first case where this organisation and its members intervened and helped LGBT people who were victims of violence or were thrown out of their homes because of their sexual orientation. However, this is the first time that GSA was faced with specific requests by the victim which are not characteristic for this situation and are not realistic for the capabilities at GSA’s disposal.

Nevertheless, GSA is now working on establishing communication and cooperation with local authorities in Kuršumlija in order to lessen the aversion of the community towards Stefan Radović and avoid possible incidents. GSA will, as a matter of course, continue in the future to support all LGBT people who find themselves in a similar situation and who require assistance.

GSA Info Center