Bekhsoos's picture

Call for Action: Tell IGLYO to Get Out of Israel

Call for Action: Tell IGLYO to Get Out of Israel

Dear LGBTQ organization/group/activist,

We Palestinian queer activists from alQaws for Sexual & Gender Diversity in Palestinian society, Aswat — Palestinian Gay Women, and PQBDS (Palestinian Queers for Boycott Divestment and Sanctions), are writing to you to express our disappointment with the International Gay and Lesbian Youth Organization’s [IGLYO] decision to hold its General Assembly for 2011, this December, in Tel Aviv, Israel. Even after we contacted IGLYO expressing our deep concerns about the problematic political implications of holding the conference in Israel,  they published an ‘Open Letter – 2011 GA‘ emphasizing that they are unwilling to reconsider, and even more, defending their decision and misleading LGTBQ member organizations into normalizing and providing a cover to the Israeli apartheid and oppression of the Palestinian people — IGLYO didn’t only decide to hold their General Assembly conference in Tel Aviv, but they also accepted Israeli government money, participating in a world wide campaign to re-brand Israel and pinkwash it’s crimes. We are therefore calling upon you to help us communicate to IGLYO why their action is unjust and unbecoming of an organization devoted to furthering the rights of queer people and human rights in general.

Jaded's picture

Re-Membering Ties; Re-Forming Bonds

Last week, I read Houria Bouteldja’s essay on Decolonial Feminism And The Privilege Of Solidarity and came away with agreeing with most of it, though there are some big problematic themes hazed over — like the ‘question’ of Islam and feminism co-existing (hint: this shouldn’t take consideration) or even the notion of ‘decolonisation’ mentioned many times in the essay, making it seem as if a ‘decolonial’ state of being is indeed possible (without using time-bubbles that too!) that there will be a time when colonisation will be washed clean from under our skin or given the radical left Maoist thrust of the website, the essay doesn’t mention ‘rescuing’ Marxism from Marx’s colonialism — but all of this disappeared as I read the speaker subverting the concept of ‘solidarity’ — physically and viscerally – by standing in solidarity with White women, which was her way of disrobing White feminists of extending ‘sistersong’. I read, “Solidarity with [insert nationality here]” and impulsively liked how ‘solidarity’ as a privilege was reverted, like Caliban cursing at his master¹, the act of reversing roles was more important than focusing on what she actually implied. Considering the speaker is an activist, her goal was to level the uneven power dichotomy of ‘solidarity’ when practiced by White (Imperial) feminists and possibly for her solidarity ‘ends’ there, and not in likening herself to any White feminists. All of this I knew and acknowledged as I read the essay for the first time; I’ll admit that the Calibanian instinct didn’t die away even after days. So for a while, I started believing that solidarity is a desirable concept when disrobed of imperial and neo-colonial intent and action, even prioritised theory over action so to speak, forgot that my dusty skin cannot be cataloged either way quite this easily.

Co-incidentally two days after reading the essay I ended up taking my students to the Prince Of Wales museum for a ‘field visit’ — calling the museum by a glorified Maratha hero’s name doesn’t change where it originates from or that it attests our colonial past — and somehow while constantly saying “no you can’t touch it” and “yes, that’s a naked body, that’s nothing to laugh about!” we were  standing in front of the Ratan Tata wing — yesthose Tata’s – and all the artefacts that came directly from their family heirlooms. One minute I’m telling them to stop giggling at the nude paintings and next moment we come to the section where weapons ‘of the Empire’ are displayed. Rows of guns, whips, knives, pistols — some from the Maratha period, some from the Empire — which were used on ‘natives’; seeing the old Grandfather Clock which still works by London time and finally the cutlery and silverware exposed our (in)visible history. If I were to re-trace ‘that history’, I’d have to look at the gaps and spaces between these narratives and presentations of history, as ‘my’ past is infinitely linked with ‘theirs’. If I were to imagine ‘Indian history’ has a voice, then for the better part of last two centuries it is silenced² judging solely by the artifacts present in the museum, you’d think there were no Indians who lived in India for the time British people hung out here. Had I gone alone to the museum, this would have been the time for me to leave and give in to the crying fit, but my students were around and still wanted to know if those weapons were ever used on us. I must have nodded ‘yes’ as suddenly everyone was quiet for a while. Finally, standing around the creepy, stuffed animals of the Natural History section, one student tells me that his abbujan’s father — great-grandfather that is — used to be a footman to a British naval officer; we don’t look at each other as he wonders out loud if the weapons we saw upstairs were ever used on his abbujan’s father. At that moment — and even today — my first instinct is to cut away all my ties with such a history or a collective past.

arvan's picture

More updated from "One Day, One Struggle"

We are still documenting the events that took place during the One Day One Struggle campaign and we wanted to inform you about a few updates.
Campaign updates including the seminar on the new Aceh law that violates Islam and women’s right to bodily autonomy in Indonesia. 

The launch of a campaign for the abolishment of a penal code article that discriminates against women’s right to control their own sexuality in Malaysia.

A queer-straight alliance meeting in Pakistan.
Campaign updates from Bangladesh include:

     The national launch of a pioneering research on sexuality and rights;

     A discussion on the place of sexuality and pleasure in the Koran,

     A panel and cultural show on what it means to be a hijra (transgender) in Bangladesh.
We hope this information is helpful and once again, thank you very much for your support!

Best, Iraz & Emre


A pioneering research on sexuality and rights in Bangladesh

The Center for Gender, Sexuality and HIV/AIDS (CGSH) at the James P Grant School of Public Health (JPGSPH) of BRAC University shared the findings of a pioneering research project on sexuality and rights in urban Bangladesh.  This exploratory study, the first of its kind, maps the manifold and changing understandings of sexuality, identity and rights among university students, factory workers, and sexual and gender minorities in Dhaka city.

arvan's picture

Overcoming cultural and religious barriers to LGBT equality

ILGA-Europe: Overcoming cultural and religious barriers to LGBT equality

During this panel Friday afternoon (30 October 2009) ILGA-Europe had two speakers: Vladimir Luxuria, a former member of the Italian Parliament and a journalist, and Juris Calitis, pastor of Anglican Church in Latvia.  Below you will find detailed account of their speeches.  This is however, not an official transcript.

Vladimir Luxuria, former member of the Italian Parliament, journalist

I am a very popular person in Italy for many reasons, for my activity in the LGBT movement, for organizing the 1st Pride in Rome and for being the 1st Transgender person (I am not a transformist.  There are many transformists in the Italian parliament, those who move from one party to another.  I just moved from one gender to the other, thats all.) in the EU to become a Member of the Italian Parliament.  This was from 2006-2008, when Berlusconi came to power

(He also wears make-up and high heels.)  I have appeared in theaters and in public debates, and very often on TV.

I am very interested in the title of this conference overcoming cultural and religious barriers to LGBT equality.  What does it mean to overcome?  Does it mean to win cultural and religious barriers?  After you have dealt with these barriers?  Or just to ignore these barriers?  This is central to those countries where culture and religion are synonymous culture, politics, art, clothes as they are in countries such as Italy, Malta, Poland, Russia, Ukraine, Greece, and others.

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