A Free Life Begins With Pride!

MANIFESTO of Zagreb Pride 2017: Pride March of LGBTIQ persons and families

A Free Life Begins With Pride!

We are trans, we are queer, we are intersex, we are bisexual, we are lesbians and we are gay. We are a whole spectrum of identities. We are here and we are not going anywhere.

We are here to defy the idea that male and female bodies exist, and male and female roles. We say, rather, there are human bodies, and we are the ones who define our role in this society. We are here to say that our experiences and identities are real and valuable.

We are also here to defy the idea that sexuality has to be in the service of reproduction. Our bodies are not here to serve! We will struggle for sexuality to be a space of freedom and pleasure.

We will not let anyone discipline us. We will not let anyone put us in our place. We do not accept the repressive regime that is being imposed on us.

We demand bodily autonomy, sexual freedoms and the social and legal recognition of gender identity.

Because a free life begins when our existence is secured, when we are free from violence; when we are the ones who make the choices about our bodies and when we express our gender freely; when we have a community, when we live in solidarity with other people, and when we are brave.

In order to live our life freely, we need adequate and stable material conditions. We need to have access to housing, to education, healthcare and to a safe and dignified employment. As LGBTIQ persons we are at higher risk of homelessness, higher risk of unemployment and higher risk of poverty at old age. We want change!

We demand social rights to be based on the needs of the individual, and not on the type of family or community we live in.

We demand that our life does not depend on our position on the labour market nor our position in the family.

Young LGBTIQ persons grow up in hostile and violent environments. They do not get support in their schools, and they are dependent on their families that often do not accept them for who they are. There are no safe spaces for them.

For this reason, we ask for a free and safe life for all children and youth – a life free from harassment in the family and at school.

A free life means also a life free from violence. We do not accept downplaying the violence to which we are exposed in our everyday lives. We do not accept our flags being burned, we do not accept being choked with tear-gas. We do not accept being bullied in schools and harassed in our work-places.

We demand for hate crimes against LGBTIQ persons to be efficiently processed and sanctioned. We demand the street harassment, threats and humiliation to stop.

We resolutely say we will not turn the other cheek.

We ask for a society of solidarity in which everyone will stand together against poverty, violence and discrimination. We want everyone to stand for the elderly and retired people; for Roma people; for the unemployed and those employed with limited contracts; with sex workers for whom that was not a free choice; with persons with disabilities; with stay at home parents; with migrants; with persons who need safe and free access to abortion.

We are here to say that there are more of us who struggle for freedom and equality, than those who want inequality and hierarchies. The handful of privileged conservatives can do nothing to us. They will never divide our communities, our friendships, our families or our love.

A free life begins with pride!

Long live Pride!