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Successful Gay Prides 2017 in Serbia and Montenegro
(Blogmensgo, gay blog of September 26, 2017) On September 17, 2017, Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabić, who had previously come out as a lesbian, participated in the Belgrade Gay Pride. Although some Serbian members of government had participated in Gay Pride parades before, this was the first time for a Prime Minister. On September 23, Serbia’s neighbor country also celebrated its Gay Pride parade, where important political requirements were voiced.
Belgrade, a new LGBT destination?
Below, there is a short video report with original soundtrack. Compared to “western” Gay Pride parades, the one in Belgrade was quite “tame.” As we can see towards the end of the video, law enforcement forces try to keep some weird individuals from troubling the event.
Aside from Ana Brnabić, who participated in the parade 11 days before her 42nd birthday, there were some other ministers from her cabinet and the mayor of the Serbian capital.
The main slogan of this Gay Pride (“We want change”) expressed the desire for more openness toward diversity in Serbia and equal rights for the LGBT community, which the Prime Minister had already promised before.
Two days before the parade, Ana Brnabić had confirmed that Serbia was no longer a homophobic or xenophobic country even though it may have been in the past.
Actually, there were only a few dozens of counter-demonstrators (mostly orthodox fundamentalists) trying to trouble the parade on September 17. The parade itself had mobilized about a thousand people however.
In the following AP report in Serbian original soundtrack, the Prime Minister holds a speech in front of the parade crowd.
This year, there were only about one third of the law enforcement forces compared to 2014 when the first Gay Pride parade was held in Belgrade without major incidents. As for most other major events these days, all participants were carefully screened before the parade however.
Compared to previous years, the atmosphere of the Gay Pride parade 2017 was much more relaxed or almost serene, and the organizers hope for even more participants in the Gay Pride 2018.
Ana Brnabić was the first openly homosexual politician when president Aleksandar Vučić nominated her in 2016. On June 29, 2017, Vučić offered her the job as the head of government and stressed his confidence in her and her work.
Minimalistic Pride with clear demands in Podgorica
On September 23, 2017, about 200 people came together in Montenegro’s capital to celebrate the fifth Gay Pride. Law enforcement forces were present there too but the event was held without any trouble.
The key demands of Montenegro Pride were clear sanctions for homophobic incidents. Currently, homophobic violent acts are treated like simple brawls in Montenegro.
Frank-S / MensGo
Initial sources: rfi.fr, September 17, 2017 (Belgrade) and rferl.org, September 23, 2017 (Podgorica).