Zagreb Pride: LGBTIQ community is stronger but fight not over

NEWS 04.07.202114:47
Matija Habljak/PIXSELL

About 2,500 people marched in the 20th Zagreb Pride Parade on Saturday, during which it was said that the LGBTIQ community had become stronger but that the fight was not over.

“Our 20 prides have made our city and our republic a better, more democratic, more joyful place to live for all citizens,” according to a proclamation read out in Ribnjak Park on behalf of the organising committee.

The proclamation says that at the first Zagreb Pride on 29 June 2002, transgender, intersex, non-binary, gender diverse, asexual, pansexual, bisexual and queer persons, gays and lesbians “forever came out of the silence and stopped being invisible.”

The LGBTIQ community has become a strong, responsible and self-aware part of the country, but the fights are not over, it was said.

“Our Constitution and laws still don’t include us fully and justly. Our streets and squares are still not free of hate. We have not and will never forget the victims of homophobic and fascist rampage this and over the past 20 years,” it was said.

Looking back on 20 years of struggle, organisers said that, alone, the LGBTIQ community had won the right to public visibility and participation in the political, cultural and social lives as well to free assembly without threats and violence, secured a ban on discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression as well as the punishment of hate crimes, the change of the sex marker and the right to live one’s own gender identity, and secured life partnership, family life, partner care, and the right to foster.

Franko Dota, a member of the organising committee, welcomed the fact that Tomislav Tomašević was the first mayor to attend Zagreb Pride.

Local LGBTIQ officials said it was time for “out politicians.”

Half as many participants due to COVID rules

Participation in this year’s Zagreb Pride march was possible only with COVID certificates, which were checked before people could join the march and the rally at Ribnjak Park.

“Generally there are about 6,000 participants. Today there are about 2,500 people, but this is appropriate to the times we live in,” said Dota.

Participants said they came to support equality and tolerance as well as fight homophobia.

“This is my first Pride and I was motivated to come because of the crazy statements by (Bridge MP) Nikola Grmoja and the crazy Hungarian and Polish laws,” said one female participant, while another said the LGBTIQ community still had to fight for some rights and against discrimination and hate in society.

The march was held under tight police protection. Police reported one incident by 5 pm. They arrested two minors “who symbolically expressed their non-support for the parade and a criminal investigation is underway.”