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LGBT history in Yugoslavia

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Title: LGBT history in Yugoslavia  
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Subject: LGBT history in Croatia, LGBT history in Bosnia and Herzegovina, LGBT history in Montenegro, LGBT history in Slovenia, LGBT history in the Republic of Macedonia
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LGBT history in Yugoslavia

Homosexuality in Yugoslavia was firstly decriminalized in Socialist Republics of Croatia, Slovenia, Montenegro and Socialist Autonomous Province of Vojvodina in 1977.[1]

Kingdom of Yugoslavia

In 1937 Belgrade based daily newspaper Politika published news about young man from Central Serbia who arrived in Belgrade with his brothers to change his sex.[2]

World War II

Independent State of Croatia

In the case of [3] However, Croatian author Ilija Jakovljević in his text "Konclogor na Savi" (English:Concentration Camp on Sava) mentioned that in prison on Square N16 in Zagreb (modern day Victims of Fascism Square) he meet "lover of male body".[3]

National Liberation War 1941-1945

There are sources about homosexual Yugoslav Partisans during World War II in Yugoslavia. Milovan Đilas in his war memoirs tells the story from Sandžak where one Muslim soldier was exposed as homosexual by other soldiers and Regional Secretary.[4] Regional Secretary in doubt ask Đilas if he should "execute this freak", while Đilas remains in doubt admitting that at the time he did not know Communist Party of Yugoslavia practice nor anything was said about such matters by Marx and Lenin.[4] At the end under common sense he concluded that "from such vices suffer proletarians, and not only bourgeois decadent" but that he can not have functions or be party member.[4] Đilas says that he only later learned "that that homosexual, who in appearance was sheer manhood, was very brave and courageously fell in battle".[4]

Socialist Yugoslavia

Postwar persecution

In postwar period there were more examples of persecution and inhumane treatment of homosexual individuals. One of cases took place in Dubrovnik where members of communist party in 1952 arrested homosexuals, put them bags on heads and pejorative inscriptions and led them through the city.[5] In 1959 homosexuality was officially criminalized in Yugoslavia.[4]

Liberalization in the 70s

In 1973 Croatian Medical Chamber removed homosexuality from the list of mental disorders.[4] In 1974 University of Ljubljana law professor Ljubo Bavcon urged decriminalization of homosexuality as one of members of Commission for adoption of criminal law of Socialist Republic of Slovenia.[4] First federal subjects that decriminalized homosexuality were Socialist Republics of Croatia, Slovenia, Montenegro and Socialist Autonomous Province of Vojvodina in 1977.[1] Other parts of Federation will make this move only after collapse of Yugoslavia. Serbia (excluding Vojvodina) in 1994, Macedonia in 1997 and finally Bosnia and Herzegovina (both Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republika Srpska) in 1998.[4]

LGBT activism

First six-day long festival of gay culture in Yugoslavia was organized in April 1984 in [3]

LGBT topics in pop culture


In the second half of the 70s first songs that deal with issues of lesbian and gay population appear.[7] They were very different in genre, from rock, post-punk, electropop to the traditional folk music.[7] Some of the most popular songs with LGBT themes are Neki dječaci sang by Prljavo kazalište, 1982 song Moja prijateljica sang by Xenia, Preživjeti sang by KUD Idijoti, 1974 song Ramo, Ramo sang by Muharem Serbezovski, 1980 song Retko te viđam sa devojkama sang by Idoli, song Javi mi sang by Zabranjeno Pušenje and song Balada o čvrstim grudima sang by Šarlo Akrobata.[7]

See also


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b c d e
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h
  5. ^
  6. ^ a b c
  7. ^ a b c
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