“These are my streets, too!” was written on one of the banners that activists of Sarajevo Open Centre, as well as our friends and allies held in the 45-minute performance, which was held on 25th of October this year in the centre of Sarajevo, on the occasion of Coming out day.
These ARE our streets! Despite numerous hateful comments and bullying that we hear and feel in everyday situations just for being lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and transexual people, we went on the streets, because these streets belong to us, too.
October is the month when we celebrate Coming out Day. This is the day when we want to raise awareness that we are here around you, even though we as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people come out every day, on different occasions – sometimes willingly sometimes not, revealing our gender identity (which is not always in line with the one assigned to us at birth) or sexual orientation that is different from heterosexual.
This is an important day and an important process in the life of each and every one of us. Coming out directly affects our lives, our work, our relationships, the support that we get or do not get from our dear ones, just because we do not belong to the hetero-patriarchal matrix to which the society has been accustomed for centuries, although it was not always so.
Coming out – revealing our sexual orientation and/or gender identity is the life-long process, but enables us to live authentically, without lies and freely, especially in countries where this is possible. We have not yet arrived there. That’s why we stand. Therefore, we proudly stood for 45 minutes, in silence, holding paroles, because we are here, around you.
The action named „Our lives exist outside our four walls” drew attention to the fact that our visibility leads to greater acceptance of LGBTI people, reduces discrimination and violence which happens almost every day, and almost always goes unnoticed or underreported. We are part of this society where we live, work, create, learn, and contribute in the ways we know best, for the better of all of us.
This “out of the closet” exposure to public eye is just one step, one fragment of liberty and freedom, sending the message that we want a dignified life, too.
Our struggles should be your struggles as well. As long as we all are not equally respected as part of this society, we will continue to go out, take the streets and act.
“Is it really freedom if you are not free to love whom I want?” – This is the question that everyone can ask themselves.
Thanks to those of you who gave us their support! But also, thanks to those whose actions and hate speech and calling for violence, sending us clear message that this is not a society for us – because you give us tailwind. Because of those like you, we will continue to stand, to talk, to change, to act.
No one is free until we are all free!
To us, Coming Out is every single day!