LGBT manifestation on the Republic Square!

“Together for LGBT Equality” in Belgrade

Belgrade, 26.06.2012

As a part of the project “Together for equality of the LGBT people”, a manifestation dubbed “Demonstration of the LGBT cardboard dolls” has been held on Tuesday on the Republic Square in Belgrade. This was the final of the sequence of manifestations which had been held earlier in Novi Sad and Niš, while the one planned for Kragujevac was forbidden by the City Administration’s resolution. The event was organized to mark the International Pride day (27 June), for which we have planned several pannel discusions on LGBT rights.

As it was the case in Novi Sad and Niš, manifestation in Belgrade took place without incidents, and it was of the particular importance since this was the first time in the history of the LGBT movement in Serbia that such a manifestation in the open, organized by LGBT organizations, was held on the Belgrade’s Republic Square.

When the event began on Tuesday at 11h the cardboard dolls appeared in the Square holding banners “We do not demand special rights”, “Get to know me before you start to hate me”, “Stop prejudice and ignorance”, “Proud to exist” etc., including the doll of a woman with a banner “I love my gay son”. Activists behind several stands talked directly to the people, and distributed educational brochures and other handouts, while the music was played during the whole three hours of the event from under an awning hung for the occasion and decorated with baloons in rainbow colours, so everything went in a festive mood.

A lot of Belgraders showed their interest for the manifestation, talked to the activists, took brochures and photographed with the dolls. Amongst the people who visited the event , there was the former Prime minister Zoran Živković, who took a brochure from an activist with a smile on his face. It was interesting that Vladan Glišić from Dveri passed across the Square during the event and took a brochure from an activist.

Belgraders, as well as the Capital’s visitors from other cities, wrote down their comments in the guest book. “I am very glad that you are active and that you fight for your rights. Keep on! “, “(the singer) Bebi Dol put it well – it doesn’t matter whether a boy loves a boy or a girl loves a girl, the important thing is that we love and respect each other. “, “Peace and love. Let a thousand flowers bloom.”, “I support you. Long live freedom!”, “A lot of stupidity, little reason – hang in there!”, “We are all equal! Fight discrimination, we have rights!”, “I wish you a lot of success and luck in your lives. Long live Serbia!”, “I love LGBT people, we hang out, we go out together… Everybody is born equal!” were some of the numerous comments that people wrote down. Those who do not support such events mostly ignored it by walking the other way round, while the activists noted just one negative comment.

The organizations which took part in the project are extremely satisfied with the reaction of Belgraders, as well as the reaction of the people of Novi Sad and Niš, and believe that these public activities have cleared the way for dialogue and for working with people on increasing the level of tolerance towards LGBT people in a much better way than before.

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Project “Together for LGBT Equality“, through various activities in several Serbian cities, aims to contribute towards destroying prejudices against the LGBT population, to promote the principles of equality and non-violence and the need for reducing discrimination, as well as to act in a positive way on the wider social community and draw attention to the significance of tolerance, equality and the respect of diversity.

This project was chosen for the programme “The Human Rights Calendar“ which is being realised by the Human and Minority Rights Directorate of the Ministry for Human and Minority Rights, Public Administration and Local Self-Government, with the support of the embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Belgrade. The project is realised by five non-governmental organisations which deal with human and LGBT rights in Serbia in different fields: Gay Straight Alliance (GSA), Gay Lesbian Info Centre (GLIC), Centre for Queer Studies (CKS), Loud & Queer and Q-club, while outside partners include EXIT Festival, The Home of Youth in Belgrade, as well as cultural institutions in several Serbian cities.

During June – the month of LGBT rights, there will be film screenings, interactive street actions and performances, distribution of brochures and informative magazines, panel discussions, promotional parties, and other activities. The project began on 8 June in Novi Sad, and it will end on 30 June in Belgrade.

Info Centre GSA

Gallery – click for enlargement (Photo: GSA)

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