Some 200 people gathered in the center of the Kosovo capital of Prishtina for the small country’s first ever official LGBTQ Pride event on Tuesday.
The tiny southeast European, majority Muslim country has and continues to have its bouts with homophobia and impunity for hate crimes, as do most countries in the region. The event, however, seemed to go off without a hitch and with no major incidents or violence. Local activists, friends, and several politicians and foreign diplomats gathered to show support for Kosovo’s LGBTQ community, under the tagline “In the name of love.”
Nine NGOs participated in the organization of Prishtina Pride and the event is set to be a regular October fixture in Kosovo’s social calendar in the years to come.
A few diplomatic missions to Kosovo took to their official social media accounts to voice the importance of the event.
Kosovo’s President Hashim Thaci also joined the event briefly. According to local news site Prishtina Insight, Thaci addressed the crowd gathered in the city center, saying, “I am here to support the LGBTQ community and confirm that all communities in Kosovo are equal, that our state and society are built on principles of freedom and equal rights for all.”
Thaci also warned that violence or threats against the LGBTQ community would not be tolerated.
— Hashim Thaçi (@HashimThaciRKS) October 10, 2017
Feature image source credit: Benson Kua [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons