The Development of LGBTQ+ Rights in the Balkan Region: What Went Wrong: An Analysis of Generational Trauma through the Ethnic Albanian Experience
Over the course of the twentieth century, the Balkan region of Europe has faced a number of manmade atrocities. An aggregate of brutal circumstances and events has periodically exposed the regions’ communities to numerous human rights abuses, such as exploitative totalitarian dictatorships, horrific war crimes, and mass genocide. While many scholars have examined how these contexts have led the region to the political and economic state it is in today, the question of how these events have affected human rights and mental health for the lives of people in marginalized communities has been less thoroughly studied. The LGBTQ+ community, in particular, has long experienced societal and systematic discrimination throughout the Balkan region. The state of systemic equality varies country by country, though social tolerance is a challenge continuously faced by the overall community in the region. There is plenty of worthwhile research on the status and evolution of human rights in the Balkans, (see, e.g., ILGA “Annual Review'') as well as an already significant amount of scholarship on the histories of its countries. Using the example of ethnic Albanians, this paper will ask if there is a correlation between societal trauma and the stagnation of human rights progression, including LGBTQ+ rights.