Dylberizm was created as a response to the need for dignified representation of queer issues.

Dan Sokoli

Dylberizm is a platform in the Albanian language dedicated to informing and educating about LGBTQ+ issues. It was created by independent queer activists from Kosovo on March 19, 2018, as an educational page on Instagram. On June 28, 2020, Dylberizm became the first online platform specifically serving to inform and educate queer people in the Albanian language, and it has been fully maintained on a voluntary basis for more than 5 years.

Dylberizm was created as a response to the need for dignified representation of queer issues. In a society trapped by the heterosexist system, Albanians who do not belong to the heterosexual/cisgender majority are excluded from participating in major economic, political, cultural, and social activities due to their identity. The country’s educational institutions have failed to educate young people on issues related to sexuality and gender, and they have also fueled discrimination and hatred towards queer individuals by using unsubstantiated facts, sexist and homophobic terminology, and by excluding queer topics from school curriculums and textbooks.

Among other things, Albanians strongly believe that they are a heterosexual and binary people. If someone does not identify within these binaries, they are considered “not Albanian.”

Dylberizm has been created to demonstrate that all of these prejudices, beliefs, and hatred are irrational fears that have been internalized within the Albanian collective consciousness as a result of the heterosexist and heteropatriarchal system and society.

It is time for these false and harmful myths to disappear and be replaced with the simple fact that one can be both Albanian and queer. LGBTIQ+ Albanians have always been and will always be part of Albanian society. Old songs about love between Albanian men, ashiks, and dylberë, tell us that homosexuality is not new in our culture. These songs also reveal the breaking of traditional gender roles for Albanian boys and girls. Albanian sworn virgins tell us that gender is not always fixed as male or female but is a construct of the norms in which we live. The old Albanian songs and legends about the passage of the Rainbow show us that changing one’s gender/sex is not a mental disorder but a beautiful journey to live life fully as oneself.

Dylberizm is the umbrella for all LGBTQ+ Albanians, including gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, asexual, intersex, non-binary, androgynous individuals, and all other Albanians who do not belong to the heterosexual/cisgender majority.

The platform aims to create a safe space for all queer Albanians, providing them with relevant information and educational resources. Dylberizm also serves as a platform for queer Albanians to connect and build a supportive community where they can be their authentic selves. The website features articles, videos, and other

multimedia resources that cover various topics related to LGBTQ+ issues, including coming out, mental health, relationships, and activism.

Dylberizm has been created to provide a space for queer Albanians to connect, learn, and feel empowered. It is a platform that serves as a reminder that being queer is not something to be ashamed of, but rather a beautiful and valid part of one’s identity. The platform aims to break down the prejudices and stigmas surrounding queer issues in Kosovo and the region and to create a more inclusive society where everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, can thrive.


Dan Sokoli, activist