The fourth edition of the Pride Parade, Skopje Pride, will take place on June 24th under the motto “Loud and Proud”!
The National Network Against Homophobia and Transphobia held a press conference dedicated to this year’s edition of the Pride Parade, which will be held on June 24th, 2023. As in previous years, the starting point will be in “Woman Warrior” Park, where participants will gather at 5 PM. At 7 PM, after brief welcome speeches, the protest march will begin through the streets of Skopje, following the same route as in previous years, and will culminate in a cultural-musical program at the Army Stadium in City Park.
Progress in the field of LGBTI rights is neither equal nor sufficient, and it is constantly faced with attacks from forces that oppose universal human rights. That is why Pride remains an important form of protest by the LGBTI community against stigma, prejudice, and violence.
Irena Cvetković addressed the current context and expressed concern about the strong negative mobilization of religious communities, conservative and populist politicians and parties, as well as anti-LGBTI movements, “especially against the most vulnerable and marginalized part of our community, our transgender brothers and sisters.”
“In such a hostile environment, where hate speech and violence are on the rise, and homophobia and transphobia become dominant positions of those in power, being proud and vocal represents resistance and protest against the oppressive system. The LGBTI community has gone through many difficult periods, and we will go through this one with our heads held high, proud and vocal in achieving our vision of a world of equality and prosperity,” emphasized Cvetković.
Skopje Pride Parade is an event that sees increasing participation of young people. This indicates that young people, more than ever, need visibility for their identities.
“At the Skopje Pride Parade, even if only for a moment and one day, young people can feel care, support, unity, and celebration of their identities in a society that constantly tells them they are not worthy enough, that they are confused, or that they are under someone’s influence. The large turnout of young people at the Parade shows that there is still hope that the coming generations have a clear political stance and that they are here and they are vocal.”
In our past Parades, we have seen parents proudly standing beside their LGBTI children and marching for their rights. With this, they send a message to other parents who may still be afraid or unsure of how to accept their own children, that a different reality is possible for them. These brave steps are the foundation for building an equal society,” said Angel Dimitrievski.
The program of Skopje Pride was announced by Kocho Andonovski, who emphasized that the Parade is open as a platform for many other causes. “We are open to other groups who want to convey their message to the public. They were present in previous years, but it was not organized, and somehow all those messages and banners got lost. So this year, we invite all those who have their campaigns, various activities, and want to be recognized with their messages and symbols to reach out to us,” said Andonovski. He thanked the Ministry of Defense for their support and the Ministry of Internal Affairs for setting new standards in the region for securing this event.
Pride Parades around the world are known for being a proven and celebrated recipe for good fun and memorable friendships. According to the organizers, Skopje Pride 2023 will offer a rich cultural and entertainment program, featuring live music performances, drag queen shows from the country and the region, as well as DJ sets. It will be a vibrant celebration of diversity, acceptance, and solidarity within the community. Participants can expect an unforgettable experience filled with joy, love, and an opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals who share their values of equality and inclusivity.