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Rainbow

RAINBOW, YLBER in Albanian, is the Kosovo's first podcast series dedicated exclusively to LGBT+ matters. As part of the project "NO SHAME," the RAINBOW series seeks to document and raise awareness on LGBT+ rights and lives. With this project, we wish to improve the media representation of diversity, and to create a platform for the dignified and informed discussions of pressing LGBT+ issues.

The project is implemented in partnership with Sbunker. It is realized with the financial support of the European Union, as part of the project Reporting Diversity Network 2.0.

YLBER - Episode 1: Legal recognition of same-sex marriages

 

When the media reports on issues related to LGBTIQ+ people, it is usually done in a sensationalist manner and in absence of accurate information. This is also true when it comes to the issue of institutional recognition of gay and lesbian relationships, with very little reporting dedicated to how the lack of legal recognition affects non-heterosexual couples.

 

Wishing to explore this matter, we talked with human rights lawyer Rina Kika and Erëza Bytyqi, a non-binary person, to better understand the consequence of the lack of a law on same-sex marriage in Kosovo, the positive effects that such legal recognition would bring about, and the difference between civil union and marriage. During the conversation, we also touched upon cases from the region of LGBTIQ+ people who are challenging state-sanctioned discrimination.

 

Moderator: Dardan Hoti

Researcher: Roni Idrizaj

Design: Elvira Thaçi

Recording and editing: Gent Gorani

To listen to the podcast on Spotify, click here.

YLBER - Episode 2: Coming out

 

Coming out remains one of the processes that every LGBTIQ+ person in Kosovo must go through. The likelihood of losing emotional and financial support from the family, the emergence of a feeling of isolation and the lack of equal treatment in private and public institutions make coming out a difficult process. The same applies to people who decide not to come out and are then forced to hide their gender identity or sexual orientation, and to others who decide to come out and face a heteronormative and patriarchal reality.

 

Hear personal experiences about coming out and the importance of this action from journalist, writer and activist Arbër Selmani and director and performer Erblin Nushi.

 

Moderator: Dardan Hoti

Researcher: Roni Idrizaj

Design: Elvira Thaçi

Recording and editing: Gent Gorani

To listen to the podcast on Spotify, click here.

YLBER - Episode 3: Gender transition

 

For virtually everyone, gender identity is something that is assigned to us by others as soon as we are born. For all those who are transgender or gender nonconforming, this implies facing a lot of stigma later in life. It also requires trans people to go through what is an often complicated, expensive and delicate process that relies on receiving adequate services from institutions, when institutions are often unprepared or unwilling to support trans people in their transition.

Blert Morina has gone through such a journey – a particularly difficult one for someone coming from a small village with little access to information. In addition to lack of information, Blert’s journey was made difficult also due to prejudice from society, the medical staff he sought medical attention from, and the lack of proper gender affirmation services in Kosovo.

Listen to a very personal conversation with Blert Morina and understand more about the different aspects of the transitioning process in Kosovo: the preparation needed, the steps to be followed, where to find health services and how much they cost.

Moderator: Dardan Hoti
Researcher: Roni Idrizaj
Design: Elvira Thaçi
Recording and editing: Gent Gorani

 

To listen to the podcast on Spotify, click here.

YLBER - Episode 4: Sexual health

 

Sexual health is a topic that is surrounded by many taboos. Ignorance and stigma around sexual health target particularly the LGBT+ community, as a consequence of outdated stereotypes that find no basis in science.

And yet, the reticence to discuss publicly and properly about sexual health has a detrimental impact on the mental and physical hygiene of everybody, regardless of their gender identity and sexual orientation.

To learn more about the essential role that sexual health plays in the well-being of individuals, couples and families, and how it contributes to the social and economic development of our communities, in this episode we invited Olimbi Hoxha, psychotherapist and public health specialist.

Hoxha has been living with HIV for 25 years, and was the first person in Albania to publicly declare her HIV status and share her personal story. Today, Hoxha is the president of the association of people infected with HIV in Albania.

Listen to the episode to learn more about what sexual health is, why it matters, and what we can do to educate ourselves and others on good sexual hygiene, mental health and quality relationships.

Moderator: Dardan Hoti
Researcher: Roni Idrizaj
Design: Elvira Thaçi
Recording and editing: Gent Gorani

 

To listen to the podcast on Spotify, click here.

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