Albania: LGBT community makes history with the Festival of Diversity
Tirana May 17th 2012 – IDAHO, Albania held the first public outdoor activity of such scale in one of the main squares of down-town Tirana, called the “Festival of Diversity” with the motto: “Make the right move. Raise the flag”.
Organized by PINK Embassy/LGBT Pro Albania, with the participation of public institutions, those for the protection of human rights, civil society organizations and diplomatic missions in the country, the “Festival of diversity” broke taboos on the LGBT community and their arrangement in outdoor venues.
The activities of the day started early in the morning with the press conference, continuing with speeches by various governmental officials and ambassadors, an exhibition and movie screening. In front of journalists spoke Mr. Altin Hazizaj, First Ambassador of PINK, Mrs. Filloreta Kodra, Vice Minister of Labor, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities and Mr. Henk van den Dool, Ambassador of the Netherlands in Albania.
The Festival opened officially at 10:00 by the “Vёllezёrit Frashёri” square. But, before the opening of the festival, an unpredicted mini-parade happened when representatives of PINK Embassy, the Albanian government, the Dutch Embassy, the Ombudsman and dozens of citizens walked along the “Dёshmorёt e Kombit” boulevard towards the “Vёllezёrit Frashёri” square, to join friends and colleagues who were waiting there.
Decorated with the rainbow flags the square had a big group of civil society organizations and institutions such as the Ministry of Labor, the Ombudsman and the Commissioner for Protection against Discrimination together with many people, young students and people from the LGBTQ community.
Mr. Altin Hazizaj, First Ambassador of PINK Embassy, publicly thanked all those individuals from the media, politics, academia, and civil society who have managed, through their work and activities, to contribute in the advancement of the LGBTQ cause in large forums, therefore going against stereotypes and discrimination. Special thanks were given to all organizations which accepted the invitation to join the activities.