THE RAINBOW OF TOLERANCE AND LOVE
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Apart from clear symbolism of consistent diversity, rainbow was related to LGBT people for a long time. Many stories and legends related a rainbow to the matters of sexuality and gender. The song “Over the Rainbow” was accepted by gay community as a gay anthem, long before the beginning of the use of the Rainbow Flag. That is why colouring the Liberty Square by the colours of acceptance and difference was a great step.
The first Novi Sad Pride Week was crowned by the Pride at the Liberty Square on 17 May, on International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. Young people from the GO OUT Group and their support gathered at the square.
“We listen to the needs of young people and we work with them on the acceptance of their identity. We provide them support to go through life with raised heads. We support their parents who are an essential part of their lives. We do that because we care because we know how the lack of that support looks like”, Filip Kocevski from the GO OUT Group says.
OPENS strives to equality, acceptance and integration of vulnerable communities when it comes to young people. Therefore, Novi Sad Pride Week is from the very beginning the program based on which Novi Sad got the title of the European Youth Capital for the year of 2019. The programme which was written together with young people, experts, representatives of the organization, profession and institution. We believe that with the Go Out Group we go forward with large steps. Last year, we opened the Centre for young members of LGBT community in Novi Sad. For one year of the operations of the Centre, we are witness a large number of programmes and users of the Centre.
“We think that human rights are an important aspect of the lives of young people. Mechanism without violence and discrimination should be permanently ensured. We think that continuous support is necessary and that those things should be talked about and the solution for challenges with which young people face should be found”, Vukašin Grozdanović, OPENS Coordinator says.
The GO OUT Group is the organization for young LGBT* people which implements its activities primarily in Novi Sad. It is important to mention that the GO OUT Group includes the parents of LGBT* people, experts and psychologists in their work, all with the purpose of more easier acceptance.
“Through these gatherings, I have realised that I am not alone and that I have someone to tell that I have been harassed. I have realised that there are people who fight for my rights. Every year a movement is felt, from pride to pride. Every year there is less and less security. Every time we worry less how we will get home. We used to go home by taxis, then bicycle, and now we are free to go by foot”, a transgender person says.
The goal of the first Novi Sad Pride Week is for young LGBT* people to go out to a public space and thereby let their citizens know that in their local community there are LGBT* people who fight for human rights. They work on the increase of the visibility of LGBT* community and activity which the GO OUT implements with the purpose of the improvement of the life community, especially young people.
“This is an opportunity for me to say my opinion even when other people do not want to hear it. This is an opportunity to be myself and fight for people who mean to me. A lot of people came and saw our messages. I think this is a large step which will bring something big”, Đorđe Živić from the Go Out group says.
The Go Out group is an only non-governmental organisation in the region which works and actively works directly with young LGBT people and their families and we believe that all society should clearly state their experience and message. Colourful banners, glitter and music program marked this year’s Pride. The organizers hope that next year, Pride will be on the go. This is just a first step towards acceptance.