On 18 May 2019 the Tirana PRIDE Parade took place for the 7th year. The Parade was organized by our partners Pro LGBT and Aleanca and gathered hundreds of members of the LGBTI community and allies.
The Parade came at the culmination of an online and offline nationwide public awareness raising campaign organized by our partners, focused on empowering members of the Albanian LGBTI community. The campaign, “United in Diversity” involved highlighting LGBTI and LGBT friendly ‘role models’ and aimed to provide a safe and welcoming environment for LGBTI Albanians to feel free ‘come out’ if they so wished.
Following the campaign, not only did the 2019 PRIDE Parade attract the highest number of participants, but these participants were also more open. In previous years while most people on the Parade hid their faces out of fear of being recognised, this year only one person out of more than 300 did so. Everyone was proud to show their support and participate in the best Albanian Pride ever.
This is a huge success story for the LGBTI community in Albania. Yet, the recent “Report on the Situation of the LGBTI Community During 2018” compiled by Aleanca LGBTI, Streha Centre, and Pro LGBT continues to highlight that people are routinely insulted, humiliated, violently attacked, sexually assaulted, or abused because of their Sexual orientation and Gender Identity, The report shows that the most common reasons people seek the services of LGBTI support organisations is because they have been ostracised by their family and society, and physically or psychologically bullied. This shows the continued need to provide support to the LGBT community and the organisations that promote their rights – such as Aleanca, Pro LGBT and the Streha Shelter.
IREX Europe’s support to help strengthen our partner LGBT organisations in Albania is financed under the PRIDE project thanks to the support of the European Union.