It remains a poor country by Western European standards.Its GDP per capita stood at 28 percent of the EU average in 2010.Now a growing number is turning to human rights organizations, like AHRG.“Our biggest problem is identifying ourselves and the possibility of having a shared space where we can meet without fear. “We were sitting in a park when two police vans pulled over.My father – when he was alive – asked me, but I could not admit it to him either,” recalls the man in his forties, too afraid to give his name, too self-conscious, constantly looking over his shoulder.(image right: “I’m gay and can be anyone; son, brother, father, grandson, friend, your colleague; I can view them”) Getting in touch with Gjerji, as he wants to be called, was not an easy task.They continue to be subjected to discrimination in all walks of life, and that includes state institutions,” he adds.
“But attitudes toward homosexuality have not changed much, and they have to protect themselves.”] Terpo continued, “It’s not that now, in 2007 [or 2012], there is any real difference to what we have seen before.
A form of underground credibility must be established through a network of intermediaries.
Repeated cases in the past have taught the homosexual community that, in a traditional society like Albania, going public with their sexual orientation means losing their jobs, risking threats and possible rejection by their families.
There was no gay pride march in Tirana, the capital city of Albania, in 2010.
In 2012, another attempt has been made to hold a gay Pride march and festival in the capital city. Opposition is strong from conservatives and religious leaders, as expected.
(1) A gay traveler in Albania posted this comment on the Lonely Planet Gay Thorn Tree forum: “Albania is overwhelmingly Islam so being gay is not exactly an open and accepted thing.