“Why is LGBTIQ activism needed? Well, they have all the rights! Why do they need Pride? Why is it important to make everything public? Why are they pushing so hard, we have other problems! Is it really necessary for that to happen now? It can wait a couple of years for us to mature as a society. Why is the law on same-sex partnerships so important? ” - are just some of the statements we have the opportunity to read in the last days since the Pride March was announced.
Pride must take place because it is a protest by which the LGBTIQ community sends a very clear and direct message to the political structure and society. We need Pride so that we can finally feel safe in public, without fear of violence.
You know how sick I am when I come to LGBTIQ + events and see security guards at the entrance. Yes, as an activist, I am very aware of why they are needed, and for God's sake, if they were not at the Merlinka Festival in 2019. in Tuzla, who knows what would happen. But I am sick because every time I realize that organizations had to pay security guards instead of one art festival being held without any problems and additional protection. My stomach turns because I realize we live in a society that hates love. Every time I think about how long do activists need to agree to additional protection measures and pay security guards in addition to the police, whose purpose is to protect citizens. It angers me that our society is not ready to learn. It is much easier to listen to what old people have said and be guided by it. For many, faith is the main excuse, while every faith clearly says that we should and must learn, question what we have learned. They say that knowledge is the key to intelligence and that only through knowledge comes acceptance and solidarity.
Let’s face it, no one is an angel and no one can be God-given all-acceptable and possess knowledge of anything and everyone. But through life we can all try to learn more and get rid of our prejudices that lead us to hatred. The Pride March does just that - it spreads knowledge and increases visibility. With people going out on the street, walking and singing loudly in rainbow colors, they say that they will not leave, that they exist and that everyone must get used to they. Seeking excuses for taking away the right to a free and secure life is, to say the least, meaningful and meaningless. Pride March brings the problem to the public, Pride says that is enough.
I've had enough of life, in which two people who have been living together for years cannot even buy a joint overpayment for BiHAMK, earn bonuses in banks, inherit property, visit a loved one in the hospital, manage joint property. I've had enough of life, in which someone has to turn every ten meters and see if someone is following him/her/them, carry a key in his/ her/their hand so that he/she/they is ready for self-defense, run home or move exclusively with a vehicle or in a group. There is a lot of life in which LGBTIQ + people do not have basic security and support in their homes, parental love should be unconditional, endless and huge.
I've had enough of life in which every coming out represents the possibility of losing loved ones, mental and physical abuse, imprisonment, conversion therapy, guidance to religious leaders. I've had enough of life in which we do not have freedom. We have had enough of a life in which we will feel like prisoners. We want freedom, we want security and we want to spread sincere love. That's why we need Pride, because we've had enough. Well, we had enough of security guards at the entrances, we want a society where we can go to an art festival without fear.
When it comes to discussing why we need or don't need Pride March, it very often starts with the sexualization of identity and Pride Marches. Lesbians, gays, bisexuals, trans* and intersex people are not just sexual objects to be viewed through the prism of sexual identity. That identity implies love, sincere emotions, connection with another human being. Pride does not contain any form of sexualization, promotion of sexuality or gender identities. Pride is about endless love between two people of the same sex. Pride fights for their equality in this society and clearly rejects the heteropatriarchal norms that are set for all of us at birth.
We all had the opportunity to feel life in four walls during the pandemic days and we all complained about how much this isolation affected us. Imagine LGBTIQ + people who keep their identities within four walls every day, and when they decide to go outside the four walls, they wear face masks to ensure that their lives are not endangered by the rest of society.
We want life without hiding.
We want security.
We want freedom.
We want love.
We want rights for same-sex partnerships.
We want life, not captivity.
We want support.
We want solidarity.
Well, we want Pride Marches in every city of Bosnia and Herzegovina until equality is at the highest level in practice! Because remember, love always defeats hatred.
And that is why we will see each other on August 14 at the second BiH Pride March in Sarajevo at 12 o'clock!
Author: Admir Adilović
This article was written as part of the project "Access to Justice for LGBTI persons in Tuzla Canton", which is funded by the Norwegian Helsinki Committee. The article does not necessarily express the views of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee, but only the author.