However, traditional homophobic attitudes force Albanian gays and lesbians into secrecy and toward the fringes of society.

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“From what we know, the data that we have, there is a community of nearly 3,500 in Tirana alone,” says Genci Terpo, a lawyer with the Albanian Human Rights Group, AHRG.

Though the Albanian Parliament legalized homosexual relationships in 1995, more than a decade later, gays and lesbians are still heavily stigmatized, and a majority of them are choosing to leave, amidst fears that if their sexual orientation is discovered, their safety will be endangered.

Basically there are not a lot of practicing Muslims. Albanians were the most helpful and kind people I met in all of eastern Europe.

But don’t expect openness yet in this area of sexuality.” (2) According to Gay Pride Index, in Albania a gay Pride march is legal, but not socially possible because Albanian society is very intolerant of homosexuality.

Agriculture is the most important industry, employing more than half of the labor force and generating more than 20% of GDP.

Albania’s major agriculture products are wheat, corn, tobacco, figs and olives.The socialist regime that controlled Albania after World War II suppressed religious observance to the point where Albania was known as the world’s first atheist state.Since the fall of Yugoslavia as a single country in 1992 religious freedom has re-emerged in Albania.Now a growing number is turning to human rights organizations, like AHRG.“Our biggest problem is identifying ourselves and the possibility of having a shared space where we can meet without fear. “We were sitting in a park when two police vans pulled over.There was no gay pride march in Tirana, the capital city of Albania, in 2010.