Belgrade Pride 2014 has "gone off without a hitch," according to multiple media reports.
The last time the Serbian capital hosted an LGBT Pride event was in 2010. That parade was marred by violence, leaving LGBT Serbians fearful of what might happen the following year. As it turned out, nothing happened — because the government banned the event in 2011, again in 2012, and once more in 2013, each time citing security concerns.
Last spring the scheduled 2014 Pride was canceled because of regional flooding. There were doubts that Belgrade would ever again get the chance to show its LGBT Pride — until this weekend, when the event was allowed to proceed for the first time in four years.
Sunday's Pride parade featured a heavy police presence to protect the LGBT revelers from large groups of homophobic protestors hailing from nationalist, conservative, religious, and other antigay groups. Outfitted in what appears to be riot gear, the police line surrounding the Pride parade was so secure that some LGBT participants could not break though the line to join their peers along the parade route, reports PinkNews. All told, the parade route spanned two miles from the Parliament building to Belgrade City Hall.
By ensuring a safe 2014 LGBT Belgrade Pride, Serbia may have improved its own chances of securing membership in the European Union, which requires member-nations to respect LGBT rights.
These photos tell the story of Belgrade Pride better than words:
A man walks past a antigay graffiti, reading "Stop the parade of shame," Friday in Belgrade.
A child climbs a tree as Serbian ultranationalists stand off with police Saturdayin Belgrade, ahead of the Serbian capital's first LGBT Pride celebration in four years.
Serbian special police units stand guard ahead of Sunday's Pride parade in downtown Belgrade, which was sealed off for the event.