Last weekend hundreds of citizens marched on the streets of Ljubljana to celebrate the 30th aniversary of the LGBT movement in Slovenia and to demand more steps forward for new rights, equal status and wider public visibility.
Almost naked, wearing pink boxer shorts, one of ‘Kitch: the phantom of identity‘ characters, a performance which took place last Saturday in Stara Mestna Elektrarna, was screaming continuously “Slobodan” (free man) while he was holding a banner with the same word written on. The shout pointed out the ending of a show with a clear message: the only way to be free is to accept yourself and to be accepted!
Before the show, hundreds of people marched on the streets of Ljubljana under the slogan “Ja, in?”, claiming also for “freedom”, the same request that the LGBT community is asking for since 1984, when the first LGBT association in Slovenia was founded. Slovenia now lives a different context but most of its requests to reach freedom remain unheard: a legal frame which recognizes same-sex marriage, the right to set up a family or a wider public visibility in everyday life. The firsts requires political action, while the third one depends more on the maturity of society, according to Eva Gračanin (Legebitra) who stated that “the only way to stop the inequality and discrimination is through education”.
Headlines like Zoran Janković: Na MOL morajo imeti zaposleni homoseksualni certifikat! published in the conservative webpage 24kul.si fosters incomprehension and rejection, says the LGBT community. So that, last week the LGBT community displayed a national program full of workshops, conferences and exhibitions to face up hate speech, bulling and discrimination – Ljubljana Pride 2014.
Tips of history
The word “love” is still defined as an exclusive feeling between a man and a woman in the dictionary of Slovenian language. However, LGBT community won some rights in 2006 and 2009. Firstly, same-sex civil unions were legalized and, three years later, the Constitutional Court reported inequalities which had to be rectified by the Government. Nevertheless, a referendum from March 2012 brought back the situation at the same point it was in 2006. For that reason, the people went out last Saturday to demand what belongs to everyone: “freedom”!