Pride is one of the primary emotions inborn in every individual and it implies complete self-respect, including all of one’s identities and characteristics. Unfortunately, we still live in a society where the rights and lives of LGBTIQ+ people are disputed and where they are pushed to the margins of society in an attempt to take away their dignity and pride. The word Pride is used in parades across the world, while a pride parade itself is a protest, a march, a walk, but also a celebration. To us, the Pride March is a political protest, through which we also celebrate our victories; because living authentically and fighting homo/bi/trans/interphobia certainly creates a cause and space for celebration. It is important to protest and live proudly and with dignity.
About the theme of this year’s pride march
The theme of this year’s, the fourth in total, Bosnian and Herzegovinian Pride March is allyship/supporters. We discuss this topic every year, because allyship and support lie at the heart of the fight for human rights, the fight for a better life for every marginalized group in our society. Through our interviews with the LGBTIQ+ community, we have received undoubtful assurance that allyship and support increase each year, however, allies often give their support partially or with reservation. We often witness that this support is bound within four walls and does not lie outside of them. Our friends often give support within our circles, without reacting to discrimination, offensive jokes and violence that happen outside of them.
Allyship and unity do not mean simply supporting something through words, but belonging to a community and fighting for its benefit in solidarity. Empathy, responsibility and support without compromise are intertwined with allyship.
By questioning the roles of allyship and support so far, we hope to contribute to a wider open-mindedness and more visible support in everyday life, in which LGBTIQ+ people will receive security and support to live their authentic lives in all spheres of life – family, work, school, relationship spheres and so on.
Ally ship is mutual and must exist as such. Allyship, as well as solidarity, is very important, not just in the LGBTIQ+ community but in the Bosnian and Herzegovinian society in general, and that is why we chose it as this year’s theme of the BiH Pride March. We want our society to possess voluntary social cohesion and readiness to help and support every person who requires it. As we walk on the 24th of June for the rights of LGBTIQ+ people, let us walk every time someone is disenfranchised.
About this year’s slogan – Proud Together
This slogan has multiple meanings. Being an ally should and must reflect pride. As it is strongly displayed by LGBTIQ+ people, whose show of pride is criticized and problematized on a daily basis and attempted to be replaced with shame, pride must be a central segment of the struggle. Because we cannot allow anyone to feel ashamed of who they are. That’s why allies can lead by example and clearly and loudly show that they are proud to support their fellow citizens who are LGBTIQ+ people.
Proud together signifies great strength and unity. Being united means building a society in which diversity represents richness and contributes to a better and healthier society, in which communities are brimmed by solidarity, support and acceptance. And not by rejection, hatred or exclusion.
For this reason, let us show that we are Proud Together and march on the 24th of June 2023 on the fourth BiH Pride March.