From my perspective, what happened looks like theft. The Pride Parade is the property of those who are hidden from the sensitive eyes of the privileged.
Before the New York Stonewall, gay people were forced to hide from the white, capitalist and Christian America in holes and in dark corners. However, after the legendary riots (during which they actually fought with the police), they began wearing their sexuality proudly: we are homosexuals and proud of who we are – like some people are proud to be Americans or Serbs. Thus “Pride” is, as the name says, the pride of those who are denied pride, those hidden behind a veil of shame, abnormality and sickness.
As the protest in the name of those who are marginalized, Pride would, at the same time, have to be against the state, the political elite and the mechanisms which structurally imply the marginalization of selected groups of people. If Pride is not this too – then it is not a pride parade at all, but only a moving party. This is a crucial point that should be kept in mind when the strategy of Pride is planned in the future. Homosexuals are not the only people hidden from the public eye: it is also the poor, the working class, the Roma – the losers of transition. This is why they are the allies of the Pride Parade, although this gives both them and the organizers of some future Pride the shivers. After all, insisting on constitutionally guaranteed rights has little meaning in a country governed by political voluntarism, summarized by “Vucic decides on all matters”. The main strategy of the establishment, which also produces the privatization gone amok, is “divide and conquer”. This is why gays and the losers of transition must understand that they are allies in a struggle against the systematic production of their invisibility, and that mutual solidarity is necessary if accumulated problems are to be solved. Homophobia is but one segment of a far broader policy of producing social margins.
If Pride is held next year, it will be marked by political voluntarism from the start – if it was banned several previous years after someone cursorily weighted the political points to be lost, it will be allowed next year because someone cursorily weighted that the points will balance on the other side. This is why Pride has been stolen, and has not been the voice of the marginalized for years, but, instead, of those who have the right to allow or ban it.
One more thing. Every year in September, tension builds and a resolution is expected; and, when the Parade is canceled, the resolution is postponed. The question remains – what would this resolution be? The Pride Parades held in 2001 and 2010 showed the violent face of Serbia, nourished by wars of the nineties, still thirsty for blood. Postponing Pride is also a marketing move the political establishment uses to hide this face.
Translated by Bojana Obradovic