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.
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.
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.
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.
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.