OP-ED: After Attacks, an Opportunity for LGBT Rights in Kosovo
This past summer, when I was conducting interviews for an article about LGBT life in Kosovo, a source told me, "We're all paranoid. That's part of the whole gay experience." On the heels of the attacks this month that targeted the magazine Kosovo 2.0 and the LGBT organization Libertas, the same source said, "The paranoia I talked about with you will just grow now. ... Everything regressed." It was a statement imbued with sorrow and frustration, and one that I hope proves incorrect. However, whether that happens depends on how the Kosovo government and public respond to the recent attacks. So far, in that respect, there is some room for optimism -- but there is also room for profound concern. By now, what happened is well-known: On Friday, Dec. 14, a group of men stormed Kosovo 2.0's publicity event for its "sex" issue, which included my article and others with LGBT themes. They destroyed equipment and beat one staff member. Later that night, a large group protested outside a second event, a dance party, yelling, "Jasht, jasht pederast" (among other things), and forcing some attendees to flee and hide; the police escorted others away as the crowd jeered and shouted.