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The Organizing Committee of BiH Pride March held a press conference today to announce the first BiH Pride March which is to take place on 8 September 2019 in Sarajevo. The initiative to organize this event comes from the LGBTIQ community, a group of activists from...
ABOUT THE BIH PRIDE MARCH
The Bosnian-Herzegovinian (BiH) Pride March is a protest against inequality and violations of the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex and queer people. The Pride March is our way of fighting against widespread violence. It is our way of demanding equal access to public spaces that we are entitled to as citizens.
The Pride March is among the most important and influential acts of activism that accelerate positive change and advance the quality of life of the LGBTIQ population, as evidenced by previous pride marches held in the region and other parts of the world.
The initiative to organize the BiH Pride March came from a group of activists from all over the country (Prijedor, Banja Luka, Sarajevo, Bijeljina, Tuzla). The Organizing Committee currently consists of 16 people who joined the Committee voluntarily and have pledged to uphold the basic principles and values of the Pride March. Members of the Organizing Committee act independently, as volunteers, and do not represent any business entities, local or international organizations, or political parties.
The BiH Pride March is rooted in the principles and values of antifacism, equality, solidarity, freedom, social justice, self-determination, secularity, inclusivity, antimilitarism, the rule of law, openess to dialogue and non-violent communication.
Invisibility, isolation, lack of recognition, exclusion, and violence, in both the private and the public spheres, are the biggest problems for the LGBTIQ population in BiH. Most LGBTIQ people decide against revealing their sexual orientation, gender identity or sex characteristics to their families for fear of violence and rejection, which forces them to conceal a part of their life and the people they love. As LGBTIQ people, we are prevented from living openly and expressing our identities in public spaces—be it streets, workplaces, schools, institutions or cafes.
We are denied a safe space for conversing, meeting, socialising and living. We face fear and exclusion. We are forced to hide in order to avoid discrimination, insult, firing, and rejection from our family members, colleagues and other people. We are exposed to verbal, psychological and physical violence every time we show our identity. Our bodily integrity is in danger, and so is our right to life.
The widespread homo/bi/transpobia, patriarchy, sexism, gender inequality and lack of interest on the part of institutions to actively combat violence and inequality are the main reasons for the invisibility of LGBTIQ people.
The Pride March is an important opportunity to change these unacceptable conditions, reduce the fear of violence and exclusion, inform the general public about the inequality, discrimination and violence that LGBTIQ people are exposed to, send a message of diversity, and demand equality and freedom.
About the Slogan
“Door, please!” is an expression often heard in public transportation across Bosnia and Herzegovina. It also refers to opening the door of the proverbial closet when LGBTIQ people come out—that is when they reveal their sexual orientation, gender identity and/or sex characteristics to themselves or others.
Low visibility is still among the biggest problems of the LGBTIQ community in BiH. By coming out and participating in the Pride March we empower ourselves and other LGBTIQ individuals who still don’t have the courage to take that step. That’s why we say “Door, please!”, because this is a march of LGBTIQ people who deserve the chance to come out of the closet and proudly claim their place in the society.
The BiH Pride March is open to everyone and will take place on September 8 in downtown Sarajevo. It will consist of a protest march and rally with speeches given by LGBTIQ activists. More information about the Pride March will be released in the coming months.
Members of the Organizing Committee:
Amar Bašić, Amina Imamović, Branko Ćuilbrk, Dajana Bakić, Ena Bavčić, Emina Bošnjak, Goran Zorić, Jadranka Miličević, Lejla Huremović, Milica Pralica, Nataša Popović, Nera Mešinović, Nikola Kuridža, Selma Kešetović, Vladana Vasić.
Bosnia and Herzegovina finally gets its Pride March
The Organizing Committee of BiH Pride March held a press conference today to announce the first BiH Pride March which is to take place on 8 September 2019 in Sarajevo. The initiative to organize this event comes from the LGBTIQ community, a group of activists from Prijedor, Banja Luka, Sarajevo, Bijeljina, Tuzla and other parts of BiH.