This article originally appeared on VICE Serbia
This Sunday, Belgrade Pride celebrated its third birthday counting the first openly gay Serbian MP, Ana Brnabić, – as well as 5,000 policemen – among its attendees. Sadly, as in previous years, the Serbian gay community represented the day's lowest demographic turnout, with most of the participants being journalists, foreign activists, diplomats, politicians and straight allies.
Of course, the reason behind all that isn't that the community is lazy but because most people are afraid for their safety, and know they cannot rely on the State to provide their basic rights. The general feeling among Serbian LGBT groups is that while Pride is a good tradition to have, it does not pragmatically improve their quality of life. To this day, a Serbian can get beaten up on the street just because they "look gay".
This year, people were discouraged from attending due to counter demonstrations by religious, anti-gay groups but also a vendetta that flared up recently between two local LGBT activist organisations. When it comes to gay rights in Serbia, the future looks gloomy and vague – at least for now.