Balkan LBGTQIA+ was founded in Brussels by volunteers from the Balkans region.

The community guides LGBTQI persons originating from the Balkan countries, defends their interests and does a lot more.

The role of the organisation is the struggle against any form of discrimination. The team offers legal advice or translation for the promotion of the communication.

“One of our best-known actions is our musical battle; better known as ‘Balkan Party’. On this evening we want to break boundaries; those boundaries that members of the LGBTQI+ community clash into all the time, but also the boundaries between different Balkan communities themselves. We stick to the principle that anybody may live and share moments with us, whoever or whatever you are.”

“When I was 20, there was a 17-year-old guy in my village who was also gay. We never spoke about our sexuality because in my small community in Bulgaria, being gay is taboo. But we always knew about each other. Men in the village knew that if they wanted to have sex and couldn’t find a woman who would sleep with them, they could just go to him. They took advantage of him. When he turned 17, his mother decided to marry him off to a girl. I knew that he never wanted to be with a girl. But he could not say a word. A week after the wedding, he committed suicide. Everyone knew that it was because he was gay and didn’t want to live a straight life, but no one said anything, neither did I. Years after I realized that I made a big mistake. I did not support him. I’m talking about this today because I feel strong enough to stand for something that happens in my country. I hope gay men will feel empowered to stand up for themselves in my community”.

Biser Alekov

The full Queer Muslim blog of Samira Habib: