“Hapja e ekspozitës LGBT “Kukafshehti”

14 May

From the American Anthropological Association, Mindy Michels Ph.D.: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/american-anthropological-association/albania-gay-rights_b_1497865.html :

“Next week Albanian activists will host the country’s first-ever gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) photo exposition, with invitations sent out to ambassadors and foreign dignitaries. More important than the presence of diplomats, though, is the fact that the exhibition is open to the public, and that the exhibition, part of the activities for the International Day Against Homophobia, will be covered by the media. Attendees will walk through a labyrinth of one-meter-square photos that evoke the feeling of being an LGBT person in Albania. Such a high-profile event featuring same-sex desire is extraordinary in this small, Balkan country. What is even more exceptional is the recent history leading to this moment.

“Not quite three years ago, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender issues suddenly became Albanian headlines when Prime Minister Sali Berisha (who is still in office) unexpectedly declared his support for same-sex marriage at a televised meeting of his ministers. The surprising July 2009 comment came amidst his expected support for a comprehensive national anti-discrimination law.

“…Today, to the surprise of the Albanian public, Albanian gay activists are stepping forward, showing their faces, and claiming their right to participate in the conversation about their lives.

“What lies behind this remarkable and swift transformation? In 2009 fears about possible violence, discrimination, lack of acceptance, and, perhaps most importantly, the shame that it would cause family members meant that not one person in Albania would publicly acknowledge same-sex attraction. Today, there are LGBT activists openly protesting the homophobic and violent remarks of governmental officials. Young LGBT Albanians are giving presentations in college classrooms and going on television talk shows, educating students and the Albanian public about the realities of their lives. Leaders of LGBT organizations are speaking out in newspapers and on television. There is widespread publicity for the photo exhibit. What made it possible for such change to happen in three years, for these new activists to overcome the barriers to public action and dialogue?”

Go figure…


Comment: nikobakos@gmail.com

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