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News / June 9, 2021

Global Pride Spotlight: Da se zna!


This month, to celebrate Global Pride Month, the Consortium for Elections and Political Process Strengthening (CEPPS) is recognizing the essential work done by our partners to promote Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Intersex (LGBTQI+) equality.

This spotlight focuses on the work of Da se zna!, a civil society organization (CSO) in Serbia.

Watch Aleksandar Savić’s spotlight video here:

My name is Aleksandar Savić and I am the Communications and Fundraising Director at Da se zna! (To be known!)an organization working for LGBTQI+ rights in Serbia. I am also an Ambassador in the European Democracy Youth Network’s (EDYN) Serbia chapter and was a member of EDYN’s first Leadership Council from 2018-2020. 


Briefly describe some of the main challenges to political participation that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI+) people in Serbia face?   

Da se zna! monitors hate crime, discrimination, and hate speech motivated by homophobia and transphobia, and provides legal and psychological support for hate crime survivors. In addition, we educate and empower young queer people. 


How does Da se zna! work to address these barriers/challenges and to eliminate discrimination against LGBTQI+ people in Serbia?    


Most of the political parties in Serbia do not give a fair opportunity to the LGBTQI+ candidates due to fear that it would affect their party negatively. At the same time, LGBTQI+ people within parties choose not to come out due to fear of homophobia within the party. 

Da se zna! is tackling this issue on multiple levels. We monitor discrimination and provide legal and psychological support for victims of discrimination.We work with relevant institutions to adopt and implement laws and strategies that will improve living conditions and safety of LGBTQI+ people. We also educate and work to empower the LGBTQI+ community in order to build a new generation of activists. 


How has COVID-19 affected LGBTQI+ political participation in Serbia and how are/how should the government and organizations respond?   


COVID-19 limited opportunities for the LGBTQI+ community. They have been affected by it much like everybody else with the additional challenges created by homophobia and transphobia. Many young queer students have been forced to move back in with their homophobic parents. COVID doesn’t differentiate between people who are LGBTQI+ and people who aren’t. When we’re faced with a problem like this that affects everyone, I hope our societies recognize our common humanity. 


What does Pride mean to you and/or your organization? 


For me, pride is the refusal to be ashamed of who you are and taking back your power to fight for yourself and your community. 


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