On the occasion of the May 17, International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT), we are taking the opportunity to condemn/criticize every form of oppression which are continuously being pushed on people who are outside the so-called norms. These forms of oppression include but are not limited to sexism, heterosexism, cissexism, racism, speciesism, ageism, ableism, classism and the stigmatization of HIV-positive people. As a result, inequalities among people of non-normative sexes, genders, sexualities and gender identities/expressions, bodies, desires, relationships, race, age, physical ability are created and perpetuated and in return serve as bases of discrimination and in many cases of multiple discrimination when more than one of their identities deviate from societal norms and ideals.
In a society where all different categories of people must fit into boxes so that capitalism can sell them customized products we proudly remain queers. Queers are constantly under surveillance because they don’t fit into binaries, they deviate from the norms, because their very existence disrupts the patriarchal system; therefore they must be disciplined, they must be punished. Homosexuals are being laughed at and harassed for “not being men enough”. Trans* individuals are being ridiculed and brutally murdered. Bisexuals are perceived as confused and remain invisible in a binaristic and normative perception of sexuality. Women are scrutinized under the male gaze. Lesbians haven’t yet found the right man, a “real man” to put them in their place. HIV-positive people are demonized and exorcised from society. They bear the stigma of a “sexually unbridled life”, they are a disgrace. Asexuals remain invisible and constantly being judged for their desire to have relationships that don’t include sexual practices or even not to have any relationships at all. Intersex people are forced into medicalization of their bodies and binaristic perceptions of sex without even their consent. Polyamorous and other forms of non-normative relationships disrupt the hierarchical and monogamous ideals and individuals are being called out for their inability to form monogamous relationships and love one person.
Our fights are common fights with all people living under the oppression of capitalism, this system that functions upon and intensifies financial inequalities makes no exception to us or any other oppressed group. Refugees’ journey to Ithaki ends in the Mediterranean. Their “bare lives” have become “bare deaths”. Sadly, we live in a world where some lives are considered unworthy of living and some deaths unworthy of grieving.
Inequalities, oppression and discrimination exist and intersect in our daily lives and they affect all of us, even when not directly aimed at us. Worker’s rights are our rights and queer rights are everyone’s rights in a society oppressed by patriarchy.
We invite everyone to join our screening of the movie “Pride”, on the 5th of June at Social Space Kaymakκιν, in Kaymakli, at 19:30. The movie is about a real story that took place in Thatcher’s Britain in the 80s. A group of gay and lesbian activists who knew what it’s like to face adversity, supported the miners, who were on strike at the time. The event will include the screening and an open discussion about issues raised, with the participation of someone who was around at the time and who has taken part in the 1984 events and who will be also shortly introducing us to the situation in England in the 80’s prior the screening.
Quotes from the movie:
“When you’re in a battle with an enemy that’s so much bigger, so much stronger than you, to find out you had a friend you never knew existed, well that’s the best feeling in the world. Can you see what we’ve done here, by coming together all of us? We made history!”
About the author
In the divided socio-political landscape of Cyprus and in the power-driven international media sphere, emerging issues of local and global social movements, public contestations, and continuous attempts of ecological destruction are censored systematically, or vocally constrained to a point of silence. This presents a political concern to which we address, by generating an independent means of communication across social, cultural and economic divisions. In our own media sharing platform, we intend to disseminate information from the location 35°0'N 33°0'E, Cyprus, to the world.