Kosovo makes history with first ever pride parade

Hundreds of people from Kosovo and the region marched in Prishtina for the country’s first ever pride parade on Tuesday.

“We are proud to lead the first pride parade in Kosovo. Today I’m raising my voice for everyone that could not walk with us today,” said LGBTQ activist Lendi Mustafa as the march drew to a close and turned into a dance party at Zahir Pajaziti square.

Marchers waved rainbow flags in the bright autumn sunshine and chanted slogans like “get up for love!” “love has no borders!” and “pride!” in between pop songs by Dua Lipa and Beyonce blasting from loudspeakers.

The parade was organized as part of Kosovo’s 2017 pride week, under the slogan “In the Name of Love.”

Though this is Kosovo’s first pride parade, it is not the first public action organized by the LGBTQ community; over the past few years, activists have privately organized marches to mark the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, IDAHOT.

As marchers gathered at the start of the parade in Skenderbeg Square, Kosovo President Hashim Thaci made a quick appearance to state his support for the event.

“I am here to express support for the LGBTI 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,” said President Thaci, adding that violence or threats against the community would not be tolerated. Read more via Prishtina Insight