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 first Pride March will take place along Marshall Tito Street, from the Eternal Flame to the parliament square (the BiH Square). The march will begin at 12:00 hrs. Participants should start gathering at Eternal Flame from 11:00 hrs. The only entrance to the Pride March will be located at Kulovića Street. Should you wish to arrive by car, please note that no vehicles will be allowed past the National Theatre.
and safety instructions
ARRIVING AT THE PRIDE MARCH
The Pride March will take place in Sarajevo, on 8 September 2019, at 12:00 PM. You will be able to enter the secured area of the Pride March at the designated entrance point between 11:00 and 12:00 hrs. All participants will have to go through a security check. The entrance will be closed at 12:00 PM, after which time no one will be allowed to enter the Pride March. It will net be possible to join the Pride March at any other time or place.
At the entrance, you will be greeted by our volunteers (persons wearing orange vests). Everyone entering the secured area will be inspected by the security staff in order to prevent anyone from attempting to bring any items that could endanger the security of participants into the Pride March.
To make sure the security check is as quick as possible, please arrive early and limit the number of personal items. Please do not bring any bottles, scissors, nail clippers, deodorants, pepper spray or or other means of self-defence, or any other item that could be used to injure or endanger the safety of other participants. Any such item will be seized by the security staff during the check.
Water bottles will be provided at the start of the Pride March.
Please do not wear any recognizable LGBTIQ symbols until after you have entered the secured area. Keep any such items stored in your backpacks or opaque bags. LGBTIQ flags will be available at the entrance.
If you wish to carry any kind of promotional materials during the Pride March, please contact the Organising Committee in advance at firstname.lastname@example.org. Only the organisers can bring the materials inside the secure area. Therefore, any materials need to be delivered to the Organising Committee by 7 September at latest. Should the materials – including flags, t-shirts etc. – contain messages that in any violate the laws of BiH, or promote violence, or are not in line with the values of the BiH Pride March, they will not be allowed in the Pride March. Banners and other materials will be available at the entrance once you have completed the security check.
LEAVING THE PRIDE MARCH
Please note that this year’s official programme of the BiH Pride March (the walk, speeches by members of the Organising Committee, and a musical number) will not be followed by an entertainment event. The programme of the Pride March will last until 14:00 hrs.
As you enter or leave the secured area, and during the Pride March itself, please follow carefully the instructions by the police, security guards, and volunteers.
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.
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Members of the Organizing Committee:
Amar Bašić, Amina Imamović, Branko Ćuilbrk, Dajana Bakić, Ena Bavčić, Emina Bošnjak, Ines Tanović Sijerčić, Jadranka Miličević, Lejla Huremović, Milica Pralica, Nera Mešinović, Selma Kešetović, Vladana Vasić.