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Looking back, marching forward – Political message

27. May. 2024

The year 2024 marks 40 years of the organized LGBTIQ+ community in Slovenia, 40 years of fighting for human rights, visibility and dignity of LGBTIQ+ people, and 40 years of slow but persistent achievements. When we look back at the past 40 years and evaluate the situation today, we see that the fight for the human rights of LGBTIQ+ people in Slovenia is far from over.

Lesbian couples and single women are discriminated against as they still do not have access to medically assisted pregnancies.

Intersex babies and children are subjected to medically non-urgent cosmetic surgeries that aim to “correct” their genitalia, thereby marking them for life.

LGBTIQ+ people seeking international protection (asylum) experience violence and secondary victimization in asylum centers and institutional treatment, as they end up in a closed institution together with people from the environments they fled from, as well as homo- and transphobia and racism.

LGBTIQ+ people who find themselves in institutional care also often experience violence and discrimination. Their basic human rights remain unaddressed. Safe houses do not offer protection to transgender people, transgender women end up in prisons in men’s wards, LGBTIQ+ people in psychiatric care experience violence and conversion therapy approaches, LGBTIQ+ children in schools do not have adequate access to toilets and changing rooms, they experience bullying and other pressures on a daily basis …

Thus, with this year’s Ljubljana Pride Festival, we are answering to all those who doubt the need for a pride parade, for activism and for the constant fight for human rights and dignity. All the horrible backlash and hatred that has poured in towards non-binary people after Nemo’s victory at this year’s Eurovision is, among other things, the reason that it is necessary to keep fighting. Every young LGBTIQ+ person who experiences bullying at school or is afraid to come out to friends and parents is why we need activism. And every renewed attempt by hostile or indifferent politics to keep LGBTIQ+ people invisible and hated, to continue to violate our rights and to label our needs as politically too risky to be addressed through public policy, is a reason for the pride parade.

On the 40th anniversary of the organized LGBTIQ+ community in Slovenia, we are embarking on a journey through time. Throughout the year, we celebrate the pioneering steps and achievements of the past 40 years. During the Ljubljana Pride Festival, we shed light on today’s struggles and march towards a better and a more just future. History teaches us that change is possible, even if it seems impossible at a given moment. Together we will dream of tomorrow’s utopias and build joint visions for the future. Join us on this journey.

History teaches us, the future calls us, and the present is our battlefield.