The 19th Pride March of LGBTIQ persons and families Zagreb Pride will be held this year, but not as usual in June, but in autumn. It was extremely difficult for us to make this decision because this June will undoubtedly be less cheerful, colorful and loud than usual.
However, we did not want to agree to the restrictions and prohibitions that would be imposed on the Pride March and all those who walk proudly in it in the conditions of the coronavirus pandemic. Since 2002, Pride has been fighting for the fundamental human rights of LGBTIQ persons to public assembly without restrictions, for our visibility without exception, for our right to hold hands with a loved one in public, to kiss and hug freely. After years of restrictions, harassment by the police, state and city authorities, we fought for these freedoms in the Pride March and on the day of Zagreb Pride. This year, all those fences would be partially erected again.
We do not want to be counted or banned from joining the March because it is “over the limit” or separated because we are too close and forced to wear masks which would hide us, we simply do not want to agree or accept it, even if it is because of the epidemic. Because all this would be too reminiscent of the restrictions and prohibitions we faced in the first ten Marches, of an invisible “closet” into which we do not want to return under any pretexts and under any circumstances.
We also want to show solidarity with all immunocompromised members of our community, as well as LGBTIQ persons who live in a familial community or share living space with immunocompromised people or with their elderly parents or grandparents who could not join the 19th Pride March.
We therefore call on the LGBTIQ community, all our friends, supporters and Pride volunteers to show solidarity with all members of our community in these extraordinary circumstances of the global pandemic.
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