In 2021, BiH Pride March is organizing a media campaign ‘Behind Margin Walls’ which aims to make the LGBTIQ persons’ experiences during the pandemic visible.
The pandemic has taken its toll on the mental health of all citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as it has been highlighted countless times by the media. However, lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex, and queer persons’ experiences have been completely ignored in the public space. Neglectfulness and the invisibility of LGBTIQ persons’ experiences in the media during the last year have pushed us further to the societal margin which we have been painstakingly fighting against all these years.
Persistent activist struggle and commitment led to the first BiH Pride March in 2019, which brought the LGBTIQ persons’ visibility to the same level as all other sociopolitical topics in the country. The fact that the media interest in reporting from the first march exceeded all our expectations only emphasizes the power of this protest and its contribution to the representation of LGBTIQ topics in the public space.
However, media coverage of marginalized groups must not be selective, sporadic nor motivated solely by big public events. For this reason, with this campaign, we would like to bring attention to the trend of ignoration of LGBTIQ topics during the pandemic year in the media space.
With the campaign ‘Behind Margin Walls’, we are fighting against the neglect of our community’s experiences and are giving voice to those who are not heard in the public space.
With this campaign, we want to show the spectrum of experiences which the community goes through, focusing on the experiences from 2020. Even though we shared many experiences with our compatriots, there have been particular experiences specific to LGBTIQ persons, such as the fear of violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity due to social isolation.
We hope that, by sharing our experiences, you will be able to feel the depth of our fears – ranging from worrying about the safety of our colleagues and friends and fear for our own lives, worrying about work and economic independence, the fear that due to the epidemiological measures we won’t be able to see close people, to facing the loss of freedom. However, regardless of the harsh circumstances, there have been positive experiences such as recognizing our capacity and needs, new friendships, love, and support.
We collected over fifty experiences of the LGBTIQ community. These experiences stand to witness the resistance, struggle, and strength that each one of us has. The brave LGBTIQ community which, even outside of extraordinary circumstances, faces various problems and denial of freedom due to homo/bi/transphobia has also managed to overcome the harsh times of the pandemic. As the Organizing Committee of the BiH Pride March 2021, we are sending our full support to our community, to every LGBTIQ person in particular, and we hope that we will overcome all threats to our freedom and safety together.
We hereby invite all of you to help us increase this campaign’s visibility by sharing its content on your social media in the next two months. Thank you for your solidarity and for sharing your media space!
Below you can read our community’s experiences: