Albania All Set For First Gay Pride in 2013
Gay rights NGOs have set up a committee tasked with organizing the country’s first pride march in Tirana in 2013, following the organization of a diversity festival.
“Today we are working on creating the Organizing Committee for Tirana Pride 2013, which will manage the organization of activities culminating in a parade,” two Albanians NGOs, the Pink Embassy and LGBT Pro Albania, said on Friday.
“Tirana Pride 2013 will be an innovation to the social and political life of Tirana and of all Albania,” the statement added.
Gay rights activists held a series of public events in May in Tirana, pushing for greater acceptance of the lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexual lifestyle.
While Albania's parliament decriminalised homosexuality in 1995, more than a decade and half later gays and lesbians are still heavily stigmatised.
Most gays and lesbians still conceal their true sexual orientation, fearing that if it was discovered, their safety would be compromised.
Human rights reports on Albania say ingrained attitudes among the general public leave gays and lesbians stuck on the fringes of society.
The Pride organizing committee said that activists and sympathisers will march along the city's “Dёshmorёt e Kombit” boulevard holding the LGBT flag in order to demand respect, equality and dignity for the rights of the LGBT community in Albania.
“Tirana Pride 2013 will challenge the old mentalities, which prejudice, discriminate, violate, exclude,” the statement concluded.